T:BA:07 Day Nine – Friday, 14 September 2007
9:30a Nature Theater of Oklahoma Workshop, PNCA
12:30p PERFORMANCE Now, PNCA
6:30p Andrew Dickson, W+K
8:30p Zoe Scofield & Juniper Shuey, PSU: Lincoln
10:30p Fred Frith / Zeena Parkins / Ikue Mori, Wonder
The day was to begin with a workshop with the Nature Theater of Oklahoma, but it was sold-out, and I could not get in. C’est la vie.
After cleaning up the house a bit, which has been getting messy in this T:BA frenzy, I headed down to the PNCA for today’s Noon:30 chat. [Stopping off at the daily café for a yummy amazon cupcake first though.] Visual and performance artist Claude Wampler was supported by Philip Bither [Senior Curator, Walker Art Center’s of Performing Arts] and Mark Russell in the discussion about the expectations of art, honesty and creativity.
Claude talked about trying to create a genuine experience, and that she felt it was only possible by first creating something completely controlled. A sentiment which was shared by the Nature Theater of Oklahoma yesterday.
She also spoke about the intent of creating art, and of staying true to that intent without selling-out just to make works that can bring in cash. She joked about often loosing money in the creation of her performances, but this is a sense that Mark had put forward a few days back that to have a show in NYC, “that you need to pay to play”.
It is a shame if that is the case.
Someday we really do need to look at the Netherlands model, and find a way to bring it into action in the United States. We need to be able to create works, and be patrons as is appropriate for serious inquiry, exploration and creation.
Andrew Dickson put forward his 29 steps towards getting paid as an artist, but in a path of ‘selling out’. I must say, I was not a fan of his past work. But, today’s powerpoint really did hit home. Except for the part about wearing John Deere hats, I felt like he was divulging much of my life story. [OK, so I do wear a bit to Mountain Hardware and such gear, which has brand names on it…] Oh, and he also talked about Monsieur Quentin T’s fashion line, and how he trades clothing for marketing them. www.monsieurt.net
Yes, much of what he said did hit home, but I hope that even though I still make some choices [note the rationalization there] to take some commissions that will help get food in the refrigerator, that I am still on a path towards the truth in art that I desire. It is a difficult things sometimes, but I have been doing my art without any ‘day job’ for seven and a half years now, and it is going GREAT! Sure, I never really know if I will be able to eat next month, but that’s just part of the fun.
Claude spoke earlier about some of her work being ‘difficult’ versus other pieces that her gallery agent likes more because they are easy to sell. But, she cautioned against creating work simply for the sake of what would sell, and even went so far as to state that she has no idea what it is that would sell, or how one would go about creating it.
Andrew’s 29 steps had one Deux et Machina to it…
Wieden + Kennedy came to him, and asked him to ‘sell out’.
This means that he was ‘discovered’.
Andrew did not actually sell out, that’s his schtick, that’s his theater. W+K just pays him to do what he loves. It is a Medici, not a sell-out. Don’t be fooled by his snake oil, don’t go and sell your soul for a simple path.
Claude did not. She pushed herself forward, not taking no for an answer, and assuming that any silence was an implied ‘yes’ and propelled her artistry further along.
Andrew did point out some nice things about selling out, namely that you would then have the fluidity to assist other artists by patroning their work, which is what this is all really about.
Btw, you might enjoy this Map of Online Communities [image] that Andrew had pirated from some other artist.
After a nice little stroll to Pizza Schmitza, and over to Portland State University’s Lincoln Hall; I settled into my seat with some new T:BA friends, and some long standing friends. Zoe Scofield & Juniper Shuey were dancing this evening. It was a lovely performance, even though it could use a bit more rehearsal. Zoe Scofield brings a lot of strength to her work, and you can feel her formal ballet training in play. There was a solidity to the dancers from their lower ribs through this upper hips that read in the way of a ballerina staying on point while their arms gracefully captured space. But, it was Zoe that ran the show. It was not clear why she started the piece solo before the curtain, and the sudden costume change that shielded her breast about a bold beginning, but you could feel that the other dancers were following about 5% behind her in passion, energy and feeling. I enjoyed watching her dance, with or without the rest of her flock. But, there was one portion of the evening when another duet flowed forth, and their bodies broke from the formalism of the rest of the choreography. During this moment, the two of them moved with fluidity from head to toe, which was purposefully restrained in all other portions of the dance. Also, if you do not mind my testosterone showing for a bit, Zoe looked quite ravishing, and I believe this is something that would be agreed upon by most women, men and children, but your opinion might differ. Her prominence in the pace and blocking of the dance put her forward as a bit of a diva, but as I do not know her personally, I am not sure if this is portrayed character on stage, or her in real life. Perhaps I will learn more on Sunday at her Conduit workshop?
Also, Zoe, if you do not mind, your swan dress was an inspiration for a bellydance collaboration I have in October at Imbibe, so I might need to follow-up on those ideas…
The night at the Works ended with a dissonant performance by Fred Frith, Zeena Parkins, and Ikue Mori. I think that Fred could have stepped down, and things might have been better, but that is just my opinion. If you enjoyed this, at all, then I would highly recommend you experience the music of Synchronicity Frequency www.synchronicityfrequency.comor Soriah www.soriah.net here in Portland.
I felt like today was a day that I over hyped in my own mind.
Claude became the highlight, Zoe was about 80% and the Works fell well below my expectations.
But, Andrew was quite a surprise, as I went expecting it to suck, and I really enjoyed it much to my shock.
Fredrick H. Zal
Architect | Sculptor | Advocate
an.architecture and industrial design studio
advocating dialogue in the fine + applied arts
Prior ‘Day in the Life’ Posts:
Day 01 – Opening Night;
Fredrick’s Best to Worst:
Marc Bamuthi Joseph
Marc Bamuthi Joseph Workshop
Randee Paufve Workshop
Mirah & Spetratone International
The Suicide Kings
Zoe Scofield & Juniper Shuey
Mammalian Diving Reflex Haircut
Guido va der Werve
Cloud Eye Control / Anna Oxygen
Sara Greenberger Rafferty Workshop
Hip Hop 101 Workshop
Donna Uchizono Workshop
Vanden Eynde & Vendendriessche
Portland Cello Project
Could have missed it and not cried too much:
Urban Honking Workshop
Sara Greenberger Rafferty
Fred Frith / Zeena Parkins / Ikue Mori
Really sucked [for me, remember you might think something completely otherwise…]:
Las Chicas del 3.5 Floppies