|Run!!! K Howell 2011 Pastel on Paper 21 cm x 14 cm|
We all invest a great deal in what we do, but as artists, uncertainty is our friend. Uncertainty is the dark underbelly of possibility; if we have one, we have the other.
I know I'm always struggling to balance emotional intensity with games; trying to invest a work with strength and authenticity of vision, but also a certain amount of playfulness. I should take myself more seriously; I should have more fun. This is a risk.
But risk, I believe, is what makes work interesting.
Yesterday, I attended a concert. The chamber group was marvelous, the sound world intriguing but ultimately upstaged. By a cactus. The unquestionably phallic shape and the fact that it was amplified gave the succulent a playful presence in the percussionist's toolbox. The spines kept me watching. So much potential for drama. Will they blindfold the percussionist? Will the stage hands be impaled? I spent the duration of the piece renaming the work and re-imagining the staging for maximum comic and tragic effect. So I've learned this valuable lesson: If you put a cactus on stage, harmonics aren't quite so interesting*. When RISK is presented as a possibility, the audience wants it explored. (Assimilating this information as I write.)
*This is not a criticism, just a fact. It was a very good event. And the film! Pierre Reimer's Modell, made to accompany a composition by Mark Andre, was brilliant. Very witty, slightly sinister, thoroughly entertaining. Clever and playful. I loved it! And I would've told him so, but my French is specious and my English... not much better. I failed to make my response known. I didn't want to risk sounding like a prat. Won't happen again.