Monday, February 27, 2017

Artist Questions for Women

Where is this place within yourself that you have come to? All these questions for so long. There was a time when all seemed secure and sure. No matter what the cost that fleeting moment resurfaces and you remember who you are. This could be a female issue since we are forced to be so many things. At first we could be nothing. We were an extension of a man. Mostly that has changed but not entirely.  But, still, in evolutionary history, we stand somewhat truncated, but then not at all. Who knows where we began? Who knows what our significance was and is? Surely historians will find a narrative, both women and men, citations and clear incidence but in the end it is a story too. Perhaps fiction. Certainly not entirely fact. Everything is seen through the eyes of the other. No matter how stacked the credentials, it seen by the other about another. Verity is a shaky thing.

You have come to a place where all of this is almost irrelevant. You see the strength of women, their longing, their fear, the obstacles, placement, the sorrow hidden below the surface. You cannot interpret. Not by gender, nor locality. You may watch, you may want to turn away. Sometimes you see yourself through them. Often they are as foreign as you are to them. You thought language was a mighty thing. Then you lose the ability to convey. (Could you ever convey, unless off the page, edited, thought about, reworked?) Thinking, saying, writing, artmaking, communicating changes beyond recognition. You become lost. Fear surfaces, anger, delight, wonder, renewal. So Jekyll and Hyde. It is often unexplainably spectacular. You watch like a child, entranced. The wonder, the wonder, the wonder—with these different people and places.

Things fall apart, become insufferable, then are knit together. You go from heaven, to limbo. The transition is phenomenally important. What you thought you knew is dispersed and rearranged. This is nothing new. The game changes. You look for another structure than the initial one that was so prosperous. Now you need other things. Your practice has moved forward. It has requirements. You begin to find your routine. You don’t know what you’ve got until it is gone. How necessary the work table. The one you didn’t have until now. Too heavy to bring across the ocean. Too unfunded to make things happen fast. This you find out first hand, again. This time it is huge in a kaleidoscopic way because you are the foreigner. Not out of place but not in tune. Then those you know and do not know appear, angel-like, saving the day. Everything has consequences. You swim through them, resurface again.

Strength that seeped away momentarily returns. Being sure of yourself is not as critical as the work. That is all that matters because it is you and them, together. Some bits of humanity take up too much room. You eliminate, rearrange. The path reconfigures. So close to the equator, where you are now. You burn fortuitously producing something you could not make anywhere else. The elation of that brings all those meaningful to the circle. Nothing is lost.