By SAMANTHA BLANCHARD
This post was written as an assignment for Professor Cindy Shearer’s CIA 7091, Interdisciplinary Arts Workshop. As part of a community of artists working across art perspectives, students in this course get the chance to present their work and teach each other about their art form(s), practice, lineage and influences, and are challenged to inquire into the interdisciplinary arts as well as forms new to them.
I am an Artist because I create. I believe everyone has a creative source that fuels them, but they don't necessarily call it art... although it is art. Creation = Art. How can it not be? When we write, paint, photograph, film, sing, dance or speak about trees and flowers, are we saying that our product is art but nature's product is not? Art is in the breath of a newborn, the pan of a chef, the scissors of a hair stylist, the stillness of death. Life = Art and Art is life. As a neo-feminist pagan witch I try to see beauty in everyday things. I love to view the choreography of birds and people crossing the street. I could make a dance theater piece about many aspects of everyday life; however I choose to make art about women's issues. I feel if I made art about everything I see I would be overwhelmed with possibilities. I need to be somewhat in control of what I choose to frame in my world as an Artist!
I am informed by my belief that everyone can dance, sing, act, draw, paint, but they choose not to because they are drawn to another medium; a medium that we "Artists" probably would not consider a medium. Do we think we are special? Gifted? Yes I do. As an Artist, I have an overactive ego and I need to believe I can do a singular thing, like colliding dance and theater, better than anyone else. I guess it’s my fatalistic perspective that this rises from; I believe that we are all here to do one thing, and that one thing will change the world; a kind of divination if you will.
Creation for me happens to be in the collision of things. I like to collide mediums and personalities and facilitate the collaboration of resolution/revolution into a performance piece. I also like to violently edit to strip the material down to its essence. So if I seem abrupt, I am embodying the truth of my experience.
My art form is Dance-Theater and that began in 1995 with the collision of sound and movement, but has progressed or processed through dance and theater/text, free writing to collaboration for conflict resolution, to consciously pushing boundaries to extend or expand the artist's reach. Right now I am interested in working with rock and roll musicians, actors, all genres of dancers, and singers.
What's brewing in my pot next is a piece on suicide inspired by the recent romantic meme of Mozart writing himself to death. On more investigation there are theories that he was a hypochondriac and took an overdose of antimony trying to rid himself of an imaginary illness. However, his wife held that he was riddled with guilt over his father's death and that is what ultimately killed him. So that pushes me to ask the question "what would make you kill yourself?"
This brings me full circle back to I am an Artist because I create. Is it also art to destroy? To destroy, of all things, yourself? I am struggling with the duality of things and starting to wonder if we truly mimic nature and if art is life then art must also be death. I am interested in the fact that when we create no one asks why. Why was that baby born? Why did I make such a beautiful painting? Why are the mountains so beautiful? But when we destroy, or die there are many questions. Why now? Why me? Why him and not me? And this is where we forget to see art as death. We want to cut death out of the cycle of life and hopefully that will make us happy.
My journey for the next year and a half at CIIS is to continue to embrace the shadow and give it a voice so that we cannot consciously continue to deny the inevitable and in this way bring some integration and healing to the community.