Last night I watched an Art 21 video. For those of you who haven't watched Art 21 video's, I highly recommend them. You learn all about specific artists, their process, projects, thoughts and work. It is incredible to me to realize what people in this world are actually doing. It makes me feel rather boring, but also inspired to actually follow through with the absurd ideas that linger in my world more often than not. This artist said something in his interview that I have been thinking of all day. He said, "the world is process, not fact." He said this while talking about a series of charcoal drawings and paper cut outs that he had turned into videos. A lot of his work talks about South Africa and in particular, the jewish population in that country. I was touched by his sense of play, and sincerity. The video below is a stop-frame video he created with cut up black pieces of paper. You see him using his hands to rip the paper, rearrange it, then cut and rearrange again, and he says about his process that he "doesn't know something in advance which he is carrying out, but rather he allows and recognizes something as it appears."

In the end of the documentary, he is playing soccer with his son in the back yard and he says that almost all of his work comes "In the looseness of trying different things, and it is terrible that one associates that looseness and open-endedness with childhood that after that, that the possibility of exploring something not quite known, or that will lead to the understanding that one can do things lightly and quickly, it's not exactly frowned upon, but it's not quite the norm." He ends by saying, "it's always been in between the things I thought I was doing, that the real work has happened."

It has made me think a lot today about how often I stop myself short because I am unsure of an idea or thought. I want to see the world more as process and not fact. I think we all have so much to offer in terms of imagination and creativity, but we often fail to even begin because we are bombarded by so many things that tell us "what we should be" or "how we should act". I want to let myself explore more, finally make that puppet show I've been wanting to do, write the thing I am too afraid too, plant the garden I thought I was too unskilled for, ride my bike further and for no reason, be curious and make a mess.

Here is a video of some of his work.

William Kentridge, Shadow Procession from Pacific Operaworks on Vimeo.


Sofia Deyanira said...

This piece of paper animation from William Kentridge is beautiful! The hymn is like an adaptation of Come to Zion, isn't it?
Next time you come to Portland, I want to go to the puppet productions from the Tears of Joy Theatre. Love this post.

Brooke said...

You sweet thing you. You have always expressed this idea to me, though perhaps in different words, and it has changed my life. It sounds trite, but whenever I think "I'm not an artist. I'm not creative enough or bold enough or skilled enough" I think of all the things I gleaned from you in our too short time together in various crappy apartments. I am brave enough to try and make something beautiful because you have already been living your life by this motto. Beautiful.