Not Hopeless, But Dangerous

A seven-day course in the methods to make it happen

Day 7

Bringing It Home

Kurt Jooss’ The Green Table, by The Joffrey Ballet of Chicago:

Further Reading:

Inspired by The Green Table, Day 7 is putting everything together. The Green Table uses the mechanics of ballet, but it’s using it to explore a very definite, very political topic. This was done by a German choreographer between the two world wars, and it has such an easily accessible way of understanding it. You don’t need to be an art connoisseur, or to have seen a dance performance ever before, to be able to get The Green Table, and yet retains both its subtle and precise edge.

This is the final day of this week, and this is the final assignment. It’s really, follow The Green Table, make all of the things work at once, together, into a single artwork.

For Day 7, let’s bring it all together. It’s artificial to separate between seriality and contrast, they are not two different things. Direct communication and accessibility are not different. They’re all part of the same thing. We use artificial separation in order to enhance the exercises, but today it’s about understanding that these separations are artificial, and flowing seamlessly between all the aspects and seeing them as one, and this is very well exhibited by The Green Table.

Day 7 is about trusting yourself. Not having to know the answer but trusting that inside of you, there is a way to ask the right question. That is not a question we can ask for you - this is something so intimate, so personal, that it is for all of us to ask for ourselves, because our unique point of view, the imperfections in our seeing, the hardships of our being, are all part of how we see the world beautifully. That does not mean that we skip over all the unsightly and unseen parts of the world.

It’s about trusting that the work you have done so far, the training that you have perhaps received formally, learned by yourself, is enough that when you hold the topic you have chosen in your heart and focus on it, you will know what to do. When you articulate it inside yourself, in the places that perhaps have no words, that you will know what to do. It’s not that you will know all of it, but you will know how to take a step, and that step will teach you where the next step is, and the next, until mysteriously and suddenly the work is complete.

Although the work to you may lead to more questions, and more urgent questions, and a whole lot of more work, and does not feel completed. The artwork might be completed, not the questioning. I use large format photography a lot, and the answer is never in the photograph. The question is assisted by the camera because the camera is a tool that helps me learn how to see.

I hope you watch The Green Table fully and find inspiration in it that will fuel the fire inside you. I hope all of these days will together fuel the fire that’s inside you, because artists can and should be dangerous. Artists can be dangerous. We are not helpless. We are one of the few people that are not helpless. We have tools at our disposal to change the world. Not only that, we can see worlds upon worlds that are not limited by the shackles that hold us back here and now.

All art is political. Only the most privileged can make art that is not political, and that in itself is political - and everything else evolves from that. When you are Black, when you are Trans, every breath you take is political and every extra breath you take is a revolutionary measure against oppression.