In the last month or so I've been cataloging a lot of my own work and I noticed that in the last few years the titles for my work have become very minimal, often no more than a single word. Many of them have also become untitled, some of them having had titles in the past. In these cases a description would take away from them, confusing what they are with a suggestion of something they might not be.
This is a fairly stark contrast with my practice when I was a student. I had somewhat of a reputation of being a wordsmith at the academy and looking back on it now I wonder why this was the case. Most titles were simple quotations of other people who did know how to write and I remember telling others that to find a good title for a work one simply has to open a favorite book on a arbitrary page and copy a phrase or sentence.
At the same time I abhorred the quotations of song lyrics in the titles of others and neither did I like the esoteric titles for some works of artists I admired at the time. Titles such as Conditions that will reshape you (Because you bequeath yourself redundant to conditions that will reshape you); Paradox of Praxis 5: Sometimes we dream as we live & sometimes we live as we dream; Relics Whose Silence, However, Conspires to Limit Access to the Past or Best.Nr.: 68011, Best.Nr.: 28856, Best.Nr.: 28856 Devoid of any
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While I admire the works they represent, their titles always seemed unnecessarily long-winded to me. To dress in words, not uncommonly those of others, that which you are unable to state by other means. Although perhaps I'm projecting there.
Ultimately I believe in some way that the title of a work is an answer to the following question: 'Could you explain to the folks at home where it is you get your ideas from?' Perhaps even more so than a description of the object at hand. At least for my own work I don't find it particularly interesting to answer this question in any other way than with the work itself. The titles therefore became simple descriptions of a part of the work or its creation.