Paris, August 2016
I get out of the metro at Belleville, I find the usual hecticness and racial mix, I look for the exit on the boulevard and on the stairs I glance at Catherine David, with a Cleopatra-like makeup that enhances her dark eyes and contrasts with her white complexion.
Read the complete text on Kabul Magazine
[Big sigh]. [A bit of silence].
I identify strongly with the feelings and thoughts you express in the Kabul essay (couldn’t respond there technically).
Though from a different point – I sense the FoMO (Fear of Missing Out) that our era forces upon us, and find it hard to manage my time and attention in an endless flux of global artistic creation.
I feel like there’s just too much art happening. If it is true that the number of humans living at this moment is larger that all humans who have ever lived and died, then it’s probably true also regarding the number of artists. Of course there never have been as many curators as today. And for sure never as much biennials, fairs etc.
And then – as you say – there is no way for an artist/curator or anyone working in a cultural field to truly be acquainted with all of the places, cultures, specificities in which art is created.
You do offer one solution to the problem – to specialize. E.g. you being an expert in NZ art in Europe. I think that, broadly speaking, the requirement to specialize exists in constructs that span science, economy and many more areas; specialization not necessarily being geographicaly based – for example it can also mean that two mathematicians in the same corridor cannot even comprehend each other’s abstracts. Fields of research have become so remote from each other, perhaps even alienated.
A priori, the 2nd option we have is to surrender to the complexity, and, continuing in our impossible task of trying to grasp everything happening at once, lose depth and insight into what we’re trying to observe. We swipe the Instagram feed as fast as possible in order to have some time with real-life friends – while at the same time we reduce our contact with an image to fractions of a second. And as you rightly say – we adopt the idea that the difference in scale and physical presence can be disregarded. We adopt such ridiculous ideas only as survival mechanisms, not because we have had experiences that validate them. And we’re in daily survival wars – perhaps on higher levels of Maslow’s pyramid – but these wars have casualties also on the concrete levels of living/dying, depression/well-being, sanity/insanity, anxiety/calmness.
Thanks so much for reading my essay and taking the time to write your thoughts. My turn now to think a bit!