Of all the things I have ever written or tried to write about, writing about art that I watched has been the crappiest. Especially, writing about art that has affected me in irreversible ways has been the worst.
You want to share what you felt, and by "you" I mean "I", you want to express how successful it was, you want to tell the others what they have missed out by not having seen it, and all you end up coming up with is just some mishmash of words that try sloppily, if not quite desperately, describe a piece work that has already done its job.
It is useless.
It is frustrating, has always been so, and this time around, I just decided to put all that nonsense aside and get on with figuring out what is it that I really want out of this lame exercise of writing about other people's works.
Then it occurred to me, quite shamefully, that it was not so much about telling others about the awesomeness of someone's work, it is simply an inability to contain the emotional upturn that the work caused in me, or a weak attempt at processing my internal perspective change, or a dreary effort at masking the terror invoked by having been left alone with my self-confrontation and such things.
This realisation particularly dawned upon me when I recently watched a performance with a very diverse cast. It was such a sense of feeling naked, of being exposed of our diversity induced isolation, the unique beauty of individual, all covered by the audience's desperate attempt at masking the discomfort of watching it with their loud applause. It was difficult to simply sit there and experience this feeling of vulnerability, while trying to let the applause wash over me without stirring this quiet internal concentration. It was a little bit like you found out that you have grown wings but in this exact moment everyone around you clapped because they didn't know what else to do. As baffling as it might be to suddenly grow wings, it is equally annoying to be disturbed while at it with an inappropriate applause. It is pissing off, to say the least. But the norm of a performance is that something good is applauded and so it shall be, regardless of whether it is appropriate or not. I had to spend days after that sorting out my own emotions about the piece, and those that came in reaction to the audience's reaction.
I also watched a performance of an artiste that once told me I think too much (obviously snubbed my fragile ego with that, or why else would I be still mulling over it). The irony of it all was how conceptual the work was, insanely intricate and thought out, I was laughing inside while occasionally enjoying all the conceptual thinking.
I often find myself being torn between being an artiste, a journalist and an audience. I think I slightly abuse one to fulfill the need of the other, and it is all a mess. What is so hard about being told that I think too much is that it precisely exposes this fear of having no control over my thinking abilities, abusing it to sort out my insecurity as an artiste. It is all f***ed up, really.
So I decided to make it transparent. To include it as a part of the creation process, because it is. The beginnings and the endings of what we put on stage are elsewhere. They do not begin or end on stage, they do not always bear witness. And sometimes they don't need to bear witness. Sometimes, they do.