As every good academic, I enjoy placing meaning in every level of my work. This blog is no exception to that unbelievably impractical, yet momentously gratifying, method. I see this blog not as a mode of documentation but as an art piece that is constantly in flux. Neo-Decadent uses a global medium of communication and invites people to participate in the creation of a Paterian denial of theory, organization, and constancy. The blog embodies the desire for constant change and the ability to endlessly expand horizons through a rhizomatic structure (for more on rhizomes read Mille Plateaux by Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari).
I first used the term Neo-Decadent when working on my thesis at Cornell. My obsession with Oscar Wilde and Aestheticism made the adoption of such a term natural to me. The late 19th-century exerts a certain inexplicable magnetism over me and I have immersed myself in its literature and culture. Consequently, the Decadent sensibility has found itself re-imagined in my artwork – thus, I create Neo-Decadent art.
The subtitle, “The Art and Opinions of Heidi Celeghin, Aesthete,” derives from the 18th-century novel The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman by Laurence Sterne. Sterne’s novel is a fascinating and absurd exploration of narrative and physical narrative space. Since I play with these ideas in my artwork, it seemed appropriate to make a reference to one of my sources of inspiration. Furthermore, the subtitle, in referencing a work of fiction, reveals the extent to which an artist’s identity is fabrication. The artist becomes a work of art because his/her life is constantly being self-fashioned.