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daily chronicles

The shared life

Part I – Pre-history

Text by Claudia Galhós

They say: artists are narcissistic people, only focused on themselves…

They say: I don’t understand what they are talking about, so I assume they are not interested in talking with me.

They say: what is the use of art?

They say: they are wasting our money and our time.

They say: your job is to entertain us, to make us dream and forget the suffering.

But what about remembering?

Artists want you to remember. Remember what you thought you had forgot. Even remember the suffering. Remember the possibility of death. Remember childhood and the childish approach to life. Remember that pain is very close to the heart. Remember everything you have lost. And everything you are about to lose. And everything that you still have.

But what about the waste of life?

Artists want you to live, conscious that you are alive. They want you to go into the unknown, to places you never went, discover yourself for the first time, each time again. Fall in love at any instant. And destroy yourself each time you fall out of love. Explore your senses, wake up your body and develop your critical thinking so that life doesn’t just go by. They want you to go deeply in, deeply in yourself and in into an exterior gesture of approach to the others.

But what about the value of art?

Art for the sake of art is a valid statement. But even if we go beyond that evidence, artists tell you that each person matters. That is why they are engaged into a critical rapport to all aspects and materials of life and the most minimal and invisible breath of any given being. Artists say you matter and you should reclaim being considered and listened. Artists search beyond what is on the surface. Go deeper in the skin and in the mind. And make you see and feel more. Magnify your senses.

But what about your interest in talking with the other? Assuming that in this case the other is the artist…

Communication is a two way channel. Is a dialectic relation. All parts involved are responsible to make the dialogue fruitful and meaningful. But even having that in mind, an essential aspect of an artistic gesture is a desire to communicate, to touch the other, to reach outside. Even when is an inside that is searched in an outside. Even when is very much personal, when is informed and contaminated by the movement of being part of the world.

Artists guard in themselves part of the landscape that surrounds them. They treat it with care and detailed attention. They relate to it in a very peculiar and singular perspective. They use imagination as a tool to create alternative reality – usually known as artistic objects. They incorporate in their body infinite particles of that environment they are part of, they transform it and they give back to the world what they create from that as an offering. Maybe that offering has a strange and not immediately recognisable configuration. Maybe it comes in a disturbed language, full of unresolved problems and questions… In it, the artist offers all his belief in humanity, the conviction that each person has an immense potential in itself.

Contrary to the tendency in society (or shall we say politics?), artists don’t take the other for a fool or a dummy. They really engage in a process of communication with respect and high consideration for the other as a citizen. But the question remains: why are people so suspicious of the intentions of the others? And, in this case, by others we mean artists… In the suspicion is where the real problem of communication starts…

Preview of next chapter tomorrow:

Part II of “The Shared Life” – The community at the Convent