I’m a season-ticket holder to the careers of artists.
In terms of sports, you relationship to and understanding of the players — their play, and the sport itself — changes when you show up for every outing, not only the headline affairs.
The same holds true for the arts; every new piece of work should alter our perception of an artist’s career, to varying degrees, and even the “misfires” can shed new light on the medium, even if the light is dimmer than dim (it’s still brighter than no light).
How can you have an educated opinion on an oeuvre without seeing each and all of its attendant parts?
This approach might sound like it leads to struggle city, and sometimes it does — and sometimes, it really, really does. But using this career-context as a frame through which to engage with an artist’s latest project has a habit of making the engagement more fruitful (to be clear, it shouldn’t be the sole frame; if you engage with art through only one lens, you’re not my type of audience…not that there’s anything wrong with that). Even the bad can be interesting in terms of how it relates to and alters our perception and conception of the whole.
Completism, it’s a religion.