I’m getting ready for a major critique on Monday.
I’ve been closing in on ideas, trying to figure out what my work is about and why I think it is important to make it.
Some of the work in my grad critique class has felt sad. It lays in the grey area of indecision and discomfort. Watching my classmates present work that is uncomfortably shifting though limbo makes me feel uneasy. I am empathetic to the process but when I offer suggestions they usually are along the lines of inserting something recognizable, to move in a direction that is definable, and maybe even a little dramatic. That way, I know how to feel about what Im looking at. Grasping the concept and being able to define myself in relation to it will make me feel good. <— in the end that is about ego.
It is our job as artists to interpret every wonderful and shitty facet of life. Lately, I’ve been filtering my interpretation through a sensational wall of rainbow glitter. My visual language is heavy in ironic campiness. I rely on instant gratification and going over the edge with an orgiastic use of color, pattern and psychedelic visuals to titillate your eyeballs. I like to be in control. I like to be the captain of your thoughts when you look at my work. I leave no ambiguous grey area for you to insert your own ideas about the work, about yourself, or god forbid about me.
The anxiety building up around this huge theatrical performance in my head (my critique) is the repitition of a pattern I have created in my life. I don’t like to feel undefined. I don’t like to feel ambiguous, or leave interpretation of my character up to chance. I protect myself from any kind of criticism by always performing.
I hit people over the head with the concepts in my work. I spell every single detail out for you. I give everything away. That is a safe place for me to be. Nothing is at stake. I put on a show in my critique. An automated character running on enthusiasm, adrenaline and energy shows up and has no problem overshadowing (protecting) the work.
To some degree this is an honest portrayal of who I am. But I wish i could find a more grounded balanced approach to it all. I think this would allow me to go deeper. I work myself up into a total tizzy putting up walls of insane enthusiasm.
When I cry is when someone tells me to slow down.
I also cry when I think about the first yoga class I will have to teach in a week.
I cant put up a glittery wall of insane campy enthusiasm when I teach a yoga class. Teaching and practicing yoga comes from a place of honesty, authenticity, and vulnerability. When I go to my yoga mat, I go as myself. Its only me. When I stand in front of my yoga class next Sunday, it will just be me. And my students will be just them. There is so much substance honestly and beauty in that space.
What I need to work on at this point, in my work and in my life is a slow build up, a calmness that reveals, when the time is right, maybe one single gem of honesty. There might be areas of grey, but I need to be ok with that. And maybe after all, that is the key. Allowing for moments to be undefined. I would really like to create work that people can connect with when they are just being themselves. The human experience is filled with so many beautiful and sorrowful similarities. And grey areas.
I want to take care of people. I want to take care of myself. I want to connect with people AS myself.