Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Vulnerability, Self disclosure, Narcissim, and Art

I have lots of thoughts lately that I don't feel it is prudent to share to any audience, (even if I'm assuming I have an audience).  I am afraid that perusing my ideas as a sort of online processing is by its nature self-indulgent narcissism.  The alternate viewpoint retorts that without self-disclosure and vulnerability we cannot find connection or experience this great thing we call humanity.  I am afraid that sharing my thoughts will open doors for people to take things personally.  I guess that's always a risk, but like the Four Agreements, states, "Don't take anything personally."  I suppose that's their problem and not mine.

When is living authentically, open in vulnerability self-indulgent narcissism and when it it reaching out to connect?  Where is the line between narcissism and art?  Right now my working answer to this question is if the art speaks to a pattern on the greater, collective archetypal scale rather than personal story telling, then it is art.

Finally, I have come to a new relationship with my art.  It is flowing through me and working with me now better than it ever has previously.  Yet, I have an almost finished sculpture right now that is on point and I would like to show, yet I do not think that it has monetary value in the capitalist market.  It would be great to spur conversations and reflection, but I don't see it as something that someone would buy for display in their office and home.

Where is there a place for art in a capitalist society?  In his book the Gift, Lewis Hyde illustrates the disparity between how art comes into being through the artists process and the contrast of how a capitalist market works.  Elizabeth Gilbert, in Big Magic even suggests that an artist's muse does not owe him or her anything.  The art is an ends to a means and does not necessarily translate to monetary success, even if the art is a brilliant opus.  Is art even more devalued when we face immanent decisions like defunding the National Endowment for the Arts?  I would posit that in societies that were thriving the best, the economies made the arts and funding artists a priority. 

I write for engagement, expression, and conversation.  Who would like to interact with me on these topics?

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