Maybe being an artist is all about arguing with the Gods. When I was a kid I wanted to be God or the Queen when I was grown. An artist has no power or authority but can build structures to talk with the Gods, can argue with politics in action. Artists have a foot in the door for shaping and critiquing the human psyche.
My first day out since the blizzard hit, three days of hibernation and I roll onto 6th Street and get hit in the head by a shovel full of snow. Some guy shoveling-out his snowed-in car didn’t expect me to be wheeling past in the middle of the road. Welcome back to the Streets.
When I performed on the back of a truck, on the street, on xmas eve I felt like a mythological figure, like a force without trace of mortal identity. I was facing our God, the veins of the beat, what makes this civilization tick, this economy run on cars, trucks, transport, oil.
I have no answer, I don’t know how to stop the cycle of poverty vs. privilege and our belief in the pursuit of freedom at all costs. Freedom disguised as ease is an insidious lead. I suspect our environmental situation and lifestyle has something to do with believing God created the earth not believing the Earth gave us the ability to understand God.
I was suckled from ease. Life did not exist for me before the washer and dryer. Eliminating mundane work gives room for intellectual growth; it also gives room for tons of entertainment resulting in creative lethargy and tons of landfill. It is easier to be anti-consumerism when you have little money. And it is clear that economic abundance is traceable to exploitation of earth’s recourses. So where do I stand, a product of a system that has granted me the space to comprehend its flaws…
I did not expect to stare eye to eye with God. In the performance, on that circle, turning, almost naked freezing spread-eagle, 10 foot tall, starring into oncoming traffic, bleeding crude oil vulnerable and fierce. I felt courage, not one trace of doubt, not one smidgen of fear - staring at what we believe and how we behave in the face. The monster of humanity dressed in steel and aluminum, shining pretty - on the go, innocent and able.
And so I have shrunk back to mortal form, a woman in a wheelchair quietly contemplating: the performance, the dawning 2011, my upcoming show of recent paintings, “DIRTY GLAMOUR” and figuring out how to pay my bills.