August 30, 2011

It begins to feel normal.


It begins to feel normal. That one has no idea what to do with oneself. That everything feels tepid or worse. That life’s small pleasures feel misguided. That one fulfills one’s obligations to the best of one’s ability and with a great deal of uncertainty. That one feels ideas opposite to one’s own might well have merit but such merit doesn’t make them less inimical. I don’t want entertainment. I want to think about the world, about this situation of living in times with no feeling of future. I hope desperately it is still possible to think of it in new ways. I want to think about it slowly and without pretending that everything is all right. Think about moments of possibility in Iceland and Chile and wonder what might happen here, wherever I am at a given day or time. I am on a train. This morning I was in Groningen. Tonight I will be in Berlin. We showed a new performance in Groningen. I believe it divided the audience but I’m not sure. I used to love the idea of a divided audience, of inciting debate, of friends going out afterwards and arguing for or against, trying to define their positions, continue the never-ending process of figuring out what they think and why. I used to think the worst thing was for everyone to agree. And yet I don’t believe we incited debate. We divided the audience in milder ways, like all the mild divides that clutter our small conversations and sense of self. These small divides also resonate. I’m drifting into the world of small steps and minor epiphanies. It never ceases to amaze me how two people sitting beside one another can have such a different experience watching the exact same thing. How much of ourselves we throw into everything that is in front of us. When many like the work I almost dismiss them, their enthusiasm runs past me. When people are indifferent I use their indifference as a knife to stab myself. It’s sick how those who hate the show feel closest to my heart. Sometimes I think it is only a question of being too sensitive. It’s not that I don’t want to please, pleasure is as good in art as anything else. But why are so many artists trying to please so much? Why do I feel the market bearing down on me as I watch? Why does the person sitting beside me see and feel something completely different? And, if this is the case, where does the conversation start?


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"but to teach us that for the similitude of the thoughts and passions of one man, to the thoughts and passions of another, whosoever looketh into himself and considereth what he doth when he does think, opine, reason, hope, fear, etc., and upon what grounds; he shall thereby read and know what are the thoughts and passions of all other men upon the like occasions." -hobbes