Self Under Siege

Photo of Blake in the Studio

When do we feel safe?

It’s an interesting question.

I find that in today’s society we have a tendency to be the persona we are expected to be in order to suit that particular environment.

We deny our truth in front of the audience that is the outer world and feel safe exclusively while being tucked away, safely backstage.

This role-playing may be counter-productive to our true selves as well as to artistic creation.

Louise Bourgeois was a huge fan of Picasso’s because she saw so much truth in his work.

He lived and experienced every movement and there was integrity in every brush stroke.

She believed that Dali and his ilk were theatrical, as was the New York scene where their main goal was to be fashionable.

“Never depart from the truth even though it seems banal at first…! Keep your integrity. You will only count, for yourself and in your art, to the extent that you keep your integrity.” [1]

Few of us do not doubt ourselves at times.

Still, what if we feel unsure and fear the slaughter of the nullifidians?

What then, Louise?

“Skepticism is the beginning of decadence. It’s a form of abdication and bankruptcy.” [2]

Louise leads us to the fear that fuels this bankruptcy of hope.

The fear becomes that monster within us, yet upon close rational and intuitive examination we can see that, like most of the obstacles before us, this demon is built by our imagination.

She also said:

“To be an artist is a guarantee to your fellow humans that the wear and tear of living will not let you become a murderer… Audience is bullshit, unnecessary. Communication is rare; art is a language, like the Chinese language. Who gets it? The deaf mutes in the subway.” [3]

They kept her from being lonely.

The contact with kindred spirits, the deaf mutes in the subway.

“You are born alone. You die alone. The value of the space in between is trust and love.” [4]

By Boky Hackel

  2. Ibid
  3. Ibid
  4. Ibid