Quote – John Berger on place and performance

It has always struck me as odd when people talk about the value of their home and then quote the price of their property without realising this tacitly tells me something about their own values.

Berger gets to the heart of the difference between place, a located set of values, and space, a location without values. We fill space with values and make it place, but the actual space does not matter. We acquire space and perform place. A theatre is an empty space until it is filled with people acting together, including the audience. Then the empty space becomes a place full of people just being together. But an audience is never passive.

Whilst this does not apply to just to the underprivileged, the street, like the web, is an easily accessible and very public space to enact theatre. Theatre and performance help us rehearse making place out of space. This process of theatre as making place has always taken place on the street, like BLM, but now includes the web, social media, TV, Netflix, Facebook, TikTok, Animal Crossing etc and as such new places will be made.

Quote – Unknown on darkness

Darkness opens the eyes

Unknown origin

I read a newspaper article recently in which a man talked about how his parents simply took to social isolation for CV19 without hesitation. They were an elderly Jewish couple in their 90’s. He talked to them about how difficult this time was and expressed admiration of how they managed this difficult time without a fuss.

His mother simply said ‘Darkness opens the eyes.’ Basically she was saying she had seen worse. But more than that, she meant that when times get dark you start to see things in a more accurate and acute way. With eyes open, you see more.

For me, in these dark times, I see that the people we rely on to keep us safe are largely poorly paid and poorly qualified. Millionaires and celebrities are not essential workers.

We are also all stuck with time on our hands to think about what we see with opened eyes.

I think eyes opened by darkness see darkness. My world has become much quieter. I have to admit, I like the dark and the quiet. I found this track in my iTunes collection, from where, I do not know, but it seemed oddly prescient.

It is called ‘Before You Snap’ by Hungarian DJ and composer Yonserboi.

The outfall of CV19 hasn’t even started yet. But before it is over, if it is ever over, some people are going to snap.

Quote – William S. Burroughs on artists

Nothing exists until or unless it is observed. An artist is making something exist by observing it. And his hope for other people is that they will also make it exist by observing it. I call it ‘creative observation.’ Creative viewing.

Reading ‘Dinosaurs’. A song to Coronavirus and large slow witted reptiles who rule the world.

Quote – Kiki Smith on art making

The point isn’t to know what you’re doing. The point is to have an experience doing something.

Kiki Smith has often turned to fairy tales in search of dramatic female personae and alter egos. The poignant vulnerability of childhood is an underlying theme in many of her images, like this one, based on Lewis Carroll’s manuscript drawings for Alice’s Adventures Under Ground (1886). The tension between young girls and animals pervades this scene as Alice struggles in a pool of her own tears with the duck, the dodo, and others. In order to represent the animals close to life-size Smith drew on the largest copperplate ULAE’s etching press could accommodate. From MOMA