"At every level of success, too many artists are exhausted, overwhelmed and broke, panicked about the present and disheartened about the future. It does not have to be like this."
This free e-book has been doing the rounds in BLAG. It's a really great thing to read. It talks about how we can be artists and also be happy, which are both things I am in favour of. Joel and I have been reading it, and agree that if you get thought the first chapter (which is a bit sappy) it's really inspiring.
How to Make Your Life as a Artist.
I enjoyed this on Sunday- 17 year old Zoe Bokany's first performance art work, Life Line at Enjoy Gallery. For four hours (four hours and 10 minutes actually) she painted zig zagging lines on a long piece of paper, in time with her breath, like a heart rate monitor. After four hours, most of the paper was still unmarked, lying in piles. Not many people were there to watch, and so it felt quite special to be there in that quiet and pleasant room, listening to the sound of charcoal on paper and noticing the different shape and character of each spike and trough. I think that some of my favourite performances these days are the ones where there is no narrative to distract me, so I can stop and do nothing. The Water Station, which was all in super slow motion, was like that. I'd drift and think and look back and the characters had hardly moved. Going to the orchestra is the same- whether or not I get into the music, I like to have time locked in when I can't check a phone, or talk, or do anything. For the first ten minutes I kind of rebel against it, then I decide its not too bad. Zoe was incredibly intent and focused, though in a way she could have doing nearly anything, nearly nothing, and I would have welcomed the chance to sit there and do even less.
Photo: Karah Sutton
What a funny guy.
When I picked up the menu at El Despesperada on Cuba Street, it was with admittedly modest hopes- I have a strong and sometimes violent prejudice against Spanish people and things. In fact I begged my editor, who hates me, not to be sent here. At any rate, my expectations were not high!
The deco-style Sealers Union Building on lower Cuba street takes on and sheds new tenants with a deciduous predictability. Until June it was Oppenheimer’s Microwave Kitchen, and before that (you may recall) a short-lived liquid tapas bar. The current decor is tasteful and warm, and the historic pelt odor barely detectable thanks to an assertive (but noisy) misting machine.
The young man who served me was polite and deferential, and responded cordially to my enquiries about his qualifications and rate of pay. It was at this time that I noticed a small, timid movement in my shirt pocket, which then stopped almost immediately.
My starter, when it arrived, was a bread-ish Spanish style item which fitted comfortably on the plate ($13). When prodded with a fork it seemed unyielding. The movements in my pocket came again- stopping and starting seemingly at random and accompanied by the hot feeling of mammalian breath on my left nipple. Then it was time for mains.
I ordered the least Spanish item on the menu- no easy feat- and was pleased when my stew (?) arrived piping hot ($23). The unflappable waiter suggested I accompany it with a glass of an aged grape juice ($14), and adroitly parried my comments on his physical appearance and conjecture about his mum.
By this point the thing by my chest was moving with an energetic rhythm. I stabbed vigorously downwards into my pocket several times with my reviewer's pen, and was successful in stunning whatever it was before immersing it in the stew, which my waiter informed me was a Chilindron from the Aragon region. Unfortunately it was now inedible. It smelled highly Spanish and moderately like seal.
Dessert ($17) had a pleasing little hot moat, which I believe would withstand all but the most determined tiny medieval pudding siege. My waiter devoted some time (8 and 1/2 minutes by my new watch, which is solar powered and therefore unreliable in winter) and four trips to the kitchen explaining the particular origins of the dish. He also answered the more advanced questions I had drafted earlier. My reviewer's pen being now unusable from the stabbing, I was not able to take notes. My waiter also proved adept at recognising a pre-crusted fork, despite my prior research into the house cutlery provider.
A three course dinner for one came to $68, which I will pay by the end of next month provided my crowd funding target is achieved ($8 reached so far, thank you Dad). I also have a campaign running towards a new Guinea Pig for my younger brother.
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