Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Chasing Art

"I can't stop moving forward," she said.
"Then you better run," he answered.

Sometimes we all need to experience something that knocks us off our feet. Something that shakes up our normal. A disruption to our routine.

These are actually the exact reasons I traveled to Charlotte last month. And recently, travel has pretty much been synonymous with art for me. I have been hunting art. Art in its natural habitat, art on the streets, art that shocks and art that makes me feel something new. Chasing this experience has become a kind of complex art within itself.

In general, I found Charlotte to be underwhelming, so I assumed my day of art hunting would probably yield similar results. What I didn't expect was to find art that would suck-punch me in the gut and then kiss me on the lips.

I stopped into the Mint Museum Uptown after hearing about a Warhol Exhibit. I was told at the desk that I would first have to proceed to the second floor to start with the Body Embellishment Exhibit.

This. This was what I had been looking for all weekend. This was the wow of my trip. This is the reason I chase art and why I keeping coming back for more of it.

This exhibit immediately swept me away. The premise of this curation is to explore the art forms that are created on, with, for, and because of the human body.

Tattooed bodies of stunning sitters, posed and portrayed in portraits that stood 8 feet tall. Artificial nail art that doubles as weapons. 3D printed jewelry (Jewelry as Wearable Sculpture) in shapes that can only be described as "fetus-like" creatures.

And then there was the fashion. Wow

Let me pause here to say that I am not a huge fashion fan. Shows, design, trends- fashion is not something I am usually captured and impressed by. But this, this was art. And it was captivating. A multi-sensory experience that harnessed every inch of body, this exhibit made me lose my balance.

Art that assaults your equilibrium- that is what I experienced with the threeASFOUR video. Rounding the corner of a dimly lit room, I was suddenly standing arm length away from a theater-sized screen playing the video below, music (by Ratatat) louder than anything I have ever heard in a museum before, and a suspiciously low-hanging spiral of dresses used to create this video. The size. The sound. The movement.

(Seriously, just put your headphones on and watch this video)

And then I wanted to fall over. Yet I was paralyzed. And captivated. It was one of the few moments I wished I wasn't alone on this trip as I desperately needed a partner to help steady my dizzying mind and body.

This is why I chase art. This is why I chase everything I love: for the disorienting experience that makes me question time and space and reality. I chase it to be be carried away.

On a simply, yet layered, trip to Charlotte, I found everything I was looking for. It took me almost being knocked down to realize it though.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Endings That Ache

"How does it end," she asked.
"With ache," he answered.

At the beginning of the year, I chose a word. Not unlike so many others that oppose the commitment to real resolutions but like the thought of pushing forward into a new year with some focus, I joined the masses in owning one word that would guide my self discovery throughout the next twelve months.


And though I probably could not have selected a more appropriate word for this phase of my life, something about this process if ultimately flawed. There is so much we can't know about the future and thinking we can hold tight to one word is limiting, at best- and pompous, at worst. There are too many variables, too much that happens in life that rattles us and shakes us and changes us.

Sometimes, other words step in and own us. They take hold and embrace us and refuse to let us go until we surrender with a deep breath and dive in deep.

This year, ache chose me.

This week, I ended an era of my career. I said goodbye to kids, a staff, a school, and a community that I love with pieces of my heart too deep to truly even understand. I will be moving on from a family of people that have become a bedrock for me both professionally and personally. I am leaving some of the truest partners I have ever had. I will be moving to a new space, a new position, and a new chapter of my career come August.

In August almost no part of my life will be the same as it was twelve month prior. In my searching, I have changed almost every core aspect of my life. Situations, people, location, surroundings, and my heart have all changed.

And with all great shifts comes great ache.

As I push forward, there are moments of doubt and even greater moments of unhinging. There is also incredible strength and beauty in the process of becoming.

Searching + Ache = Becoming

Our stories do not end because we say goodbye. Our hearts to not shrink because we ache. Our experiences do not pause while we search for the true voices in our hearts. And our lives do not stop because there is pain.

Sometimes we have to stay. Sometimes we choose to go. In the end, the ache fertilizes the soil of our hearts where love can grow richer in the future.