it’s easy to fall out of touch with a world–you need only to allow yourself to hang out by cliffside and fall away–half-accident, half-voluntary, with a hint of relief that you are no longer committed to it. the fall-out sheds friendships as well as responsibilities tied to all those things, like love. no pain, no stress, but no pleasure either. just null. then try to get used to the limbo, or find another world temporarily, then hang out at cliffside, repeat.
some are born drifters, some aren’t. when people asked me what i wanted to be when i grew up, i told them “artist” on one day, “writer” on another. a long, toxic, ecstatic, tumultuous romance with both has created strings so numerous, vast, stubbornly clingy that they can no longer be called strings but a net, a world that never lets me free–gives me the illusion sometimes, yes, but invisible chains are perhaps the most powerful of all.
sometimes i find it’s easier to deal with something by not dealing with it at all. detach the problem from the real source and tack it onto an external but also subjective one. my own pain is more tolerable when it is removed from me and visible from a distance–just like the sublime, nietzsche’s tragedy, when i can contemplate it, like a tortured sculpture.
so i can hate and blame the people there–artists are full of shit, art is a bunch of bullshit, why care about writing, why care about art when…
but when a fall-out is never a true one, when you already have bound yourself to a world–willfully or not–the fall-in, the shameful but intoxicating return is more painful than the accidental feigned escape.
probably because love sometimes resembles pain when it takes you by surprise.
and for me, the regular returns to art come as love for people, too.
when i love the people living art, i have no choice but to fall back in love with it.
this time art is more forgiving and more generous than ever, because the people do not exist separately from it, but they are it. because every moment is their work.
through a performance art community in brooklyn, i encountered the necessary urgency of a writer, that necessary fuel to placing words on paper and to putting them out.
that drive–i had forgotten, it has been too long–in which i feel no choice but to speak and share. not an “i guess i could,” but “i need to or i will go insane.”
a writing classmate once described this as a feeling of “responsibility.”
i think that is right too–
i sit and listen to a handful of artists tell horror stories about their performing, and throughout most of the talk, a guy next to me ceaselessly (or so it seemed) muches from his bag of tate’s white chocolate chip macadamia cookies and later pulls out and drinks from a bottle of red wine he brought with him. and the play of shadows against the wall, passersby gawking and shouting through the glass windows.
or another time another handful of people (some the same ones from the other occasion) fix their attention on an electro music duo at an artist’s closing party and suddenly a woman, face invisible under multiple long black wigs, clad in a fur coat and a pair of disposable underwear, bursts through the door waving a white cane. when she bounces, squats, dances to the irregular sounds and yells out to people at random intervals, “what the fuck ya lookin’ at?!” the countenances of others do not express surprise.
that sort of thing.
and i’m thinking, someone’s got to document this.
can an “isolated” study of that woman’s persona do full justice to her as a performance artist? or others gathered there?
or to even think about whether all of them would consent to their being labeled “artist,” or otherwise…
the initial elation feels higher, especially when a realist cynic is propelled into space.
all this will come down–
but i had to,
i had no choice but to,