I used to be so tripped out by the different ways people would behave & interact in church, in the bedroom, & on the dance floor. For example, I took a lot of (predominantly modern) dance classes at the University of Orgegon (& loved them!). But, it tripped me out how we’d all dance & move in a certain way that we would NEVER move & interact like on the street. Then, when class was over, we’d put our street shoes on, walk out the door, & “act normal”. What was that about? The same with the bedroom. The transition from “outdoor space” to the bedroom where people strip down & begin acting like animals is an odd one. Or, how about the shouts of HALLELUJAH! With arms flailing in the santuary?
What occurred to me is that we pass through a certain portal when we walk into these “sacred spaces” – because that’s what they are. The church. The bedroom. And, I suppose the dance studio (in this context). Maybe the same could be said for the wave, for a surfer, or the the mountain for a skiier.
I’ve known I’ve been fascinated by this transition, & the need for it for many years now. In fact, I did my thesis project, about 9 years ago, on a “movement therapy center”; meaning I designed a space as such. It was all about moving from the busy street, with the busy traffic, & all the outside noises, winding through a nautilus, into one’s own movement, moving simliarly, perhaps, to the way I described above.
Anyway, this is getting deep! But, what has occurred to me recently is that my fascination with juxtaposition is taking what goes on in this sacred space to the more “controlled” outer world. Let’s take the maids from the Mt. Nelson Hotel (in Cape Town) as an example. Jumping on a bed is typically something we leave for the bedroom. But why? Why not do it in the hotel, as a maid?! (because maybe you’ll break the bed, because maybe you’ll get fired?)…But ah! Isn’t it refreshing to AT LEAST capture the image?! And that image, to top it off, with the bedroom (aka bed) outside on the lawn?!
The contrast heightens the scene/the action, declaring absurdity perhaps, and/or screaming to connect to the inner you who feels at times like busting out of the grid. Talk about it, & it’s just words, possibly even nonsense. Do it. See it, and things may move. “Absurdity” as such may seem like the “missing ingredient”?
Is it absurd to shout Hallelujah?
to partake in animal-like behaviors?
to roll on the floor, to the music?
Or to fly down a 30-foot wave?
What is my point?
Is it to get a blend of “life” & monotony merging?
or simply to engage in more of “life”?
The transition I’m talking about is about busting through taboos. It’s not only saying, “Why not?” Or, why can’t you wrap a shack in fabric? It’s taking it to the next level & physically doing it. Whoa.
I’m finding that it’s empowering to move inside the sacred space because it’s “safe”, but equally if not more to eventually take what goes on in the sacred space & toy with in the outer world. I’m not suggesting to walk around town naked! No, no!…And, I’m not even talking about making spectacles. I’m just talking about another level of empowerment. Of dancing on the beach instead of in the studio. Of changing the space, from ceiling to sky, & seeing what happens.
Somehow I find this so refreshing for the soul. To be reminded of our childhood, & our inhibition to play any time anywhere. But, also, to be reminded of color, of taste, of sound, of smell, of life.
I can see that I also may be playing here with taking feelings & concepts from dream states & exaggerated ideas in fairytales, & making them tangible enough to see, taste, & touch. And though “art” in general may toy with this, this is not a painting I’m creating, nor just a photo as such. No, it’s crossing the line & actually making the art 3-D, using people as my mediums to pass through & interact with in the “space” in the “real world”.
And again – VIVA!