On Paper: Rosamond King, September 2015 Dixon Place
Thank you Rosamond.
For releasing me from the jaded New Yorker stance, that all the art I am seeing these days lacks depth, genuine reflection, and critical thinking about aesthetics. Thank you for not trying to be deep and sharing authentically.
You made me laugh, you made me uncomfortable, you made me think, you taught me something new, you shared your beauty and your art.
When Rosamond King entered the space with a pile of pages handing out sections of her curriculum vitae to the audience, I knew we were in for a ride. She wore an all-white, ‘paperesque’ jump suit and entered a space that had a desk covered with paper at an angle on stage left and several large poster boards leaning vertically against each side of the stage. Though the stage had a pristine white surface there was paper everywhere.
She took us on a journey. Her journey.
And yet for me her journey was my journey and I think the same could have been true for many of the people in the Dixon Place audience. She told us about struggling with the meaning of success from her work in the corporate world, but mainly in the academic world. She talked to us about the impact of trying to be ‘successful’ in her personal world as an artist and as a physically healthy person. It resonated with me.
She showed images on the large white wall at the back of the stage.
She hung upside down…in suspension.
Picking from the large poster boards, that had words on them and were on each side of the stage, she weighed the meaning of specific terms and aspirations in her career and placed them in order of ‘importance’ on the large white wall in the back. It was a lecture performance on the written and unwritten rules of what artists and scholars need to have ‘on paper’ in order to be defined as successful. She talked about not having any training to be a teacher as an academic and yet demonstrated the essence of good teaching by making the story relatable to those of us in the audience. She even included audience members in the performance, by inviting a few to use gesture to demonstrate their careers. I was with her the whole way. My mind did not wander to who was next to me or in front of me or what I needed to do tomorrow, as often does happen while watching a performance. She kept me engaged in the ‘lesson.’
As a ‘former’ artist.
It inspired me to think about pushing myself to do what she is doing, to no longer be ‘former’. I like many people, struggle with the choice to find safe/stable employment. It comes from a place of knowing how precarious my own status is as a stable person who is able to meet the demands of adulthood, (paying bills, paying debt and buying food). But I also need to process my thoughts and ideas in art to be sustained, to be healthy.
Rosamond King you inspired me. Thank you.
Her website: http://rosamondking.com/home.html
See Rosamond King on Friday Dec. 4th 2015 at 6:30 pm performing poems at Met Fridays