No Boundaries

Rehearsal for City of Santuary

The conference No Boundaries kicks off today. I wish them well in their debates.

In many ways I am happy not to be there – I am tired of  discussing the future of the arts and how it is under threat – and all that jazz. I have been struck recently by the wise words from François Matarasso in his blogs Regular Marvels and Parliament of Dreams.  In his post about the holocaust surviver Alice Herz Sommer he alerts us to a trailer for the film The Lady in No.6.

“Everything that need be said, Alice Herz Sommer says in the film.  There’s more joy and truth in this short trailer than in whole libraries of reports about the value of the art, and the film itself is a treasure. It’s worth a few minutes of anybody’s time.”

Alice: The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life – Trailer from Nick Reed on Vimeo.

It got me thinking. I was at a conference recently in Scotland where I felt extremely intimidated by the people speaking both in keynotes and within break-out groups. It seemed to me that sometimes when we talk about the arts we somehow diminish them. We analysis and dissect art until it becomes meaningless. I want to be able to find ways to respond to the creative projects that I experience in a different way. I want to respond emotionally. I want to feel the experience. I want to be able to express the spiritual without words – to amplify the smiles,  to count the heart beats and catch my breath and hold it in the pit of my diaphragm – so that I feel the meaning and enjoy the gifts that have been given to me and then share that with others.

I am frightened of academia. I faint at strategic thinking. I am worry that I don’t care about the artist who “brings the viewer face to face with their own preconceived hierarchy of cultural values and assumptions of artistic worth,”

I hope in the future that I can spend more time making and seeing art rather than talking about it.

I look forward to sharing the creative process with other people – eating together, singing together, dancing together, playing together, slow walking together and running around a room in gay abandonment without thought. This will make me happy. This will make me feel creative. This will make me feel useful.

Anybody like to join me?


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