You cannot think only about the tomatoes
Text by Claudia Galhós
Test what kind of person are you
You want to dominate the other, subjugate the other.
You engage in a situation of battle in which the competition serves to destroy the other and make you the winner.
You don’t want to know anything about the other, just want to control him.
You don’t develop a meaningful relation, you just want to optimise the results. You have no conscience at all of the impact of your actions in the other and in the larger scale of the reverberation and effect of your actions. You take no responsibility for your actions.
The complexity of the world and the of the essence of the laws of nature are a burden you cannot bare and choose not to deal with.
You profess the faith of simplification.
Everything has it’s own place, it’s own name, identification and is guarded in it’s very defined and identified box. One thing is one thing and cannot be another at the same time.
You believe in the three Ss. Simplification, segmentation and specialisation is the way to do it.
You are sincerilly interested in knowing the other, to respect who he his, his nature, his complexity.
You bellieve you can learn from the other.
You respect the other, in the sense of making an effort to understand how the other functions and what is his nature, with this information you try to create the conditions necessary for each being, human or otherwise, to be able to live according to it’s potential and fulfil it.
You are trully implicated in understanding the potential of each being, and maybe even orienting your action according to somebody else’s script and not yours, dealing with all the diversity but not trying to dominate or uniform or simplifiyng that complexity.
You allow yourself not to have the control.
Person A – The anthropocentric.
You are the person that rules these days.
The power is in your hands.
You are simple minded.
You are not intelligent enough to deal with the complexity of nature.
You feel threatened by the complex nature of the world.
You want power and you want it now, no matter who and what you are destroying on the way, and you don’r care if there is no future left for humankind.
You impose your dominance also because you are afraid to be put in question and make evident the degree of your ignorance.
Person B – The geocentric.
You know is not just about you.
You are a kind of multi person – multiactivity, multi-interest, multi-language, multi-skilled…
You face with enthusiasm and respect the complexity of the systems we live in and the intricate logic nature functions.
You know the simple mind of man tend to not be compatible with such a complex organism, but you decide to invest in a sustained approach to the concept of life and you engage in that challenge.
You believe you learn by collaborating and cooperating with the ones you compete.
You decide to contribute to the creation of life and you believe in the immense possibilities of what it can be done when you have life.
It is out of fear, cowardice, egoistic and narcissistic desire of power and is out of ignorance and laziness that we live in a period of regression of the essential values of civilisation, of the most basic principals of compassion towards the other, of respect for human life in particular and living beings in general. How one positions himself towards the other and the environment that surrounds him says of the world he is responsible for creating.
These are just some ideas Alfredo Cunhal – engineer and farmer, a practicing advocate of biodiversity – shared with the group of artists of TryAngle Montemor-o-Novo. The words echoed under the shadow of trees, in a sunny sunday morning, while walking through the field of the farm Herdade do Freixo do Meio, accompanied by two domestic donkeys and a friendly dog. This is the farm where Alfredo practices his biologic agriculture and his conception of life. His words echoed in the colourful landscape, but also in the certainty that everything is connected. He talks from his experience with agriculture, but the way he positions himself in his practice implies a conception of life and of the world he defends, for the present and for the future and founded in the knowledge of the past.
Alfredo says other things, like: “I cannot farm only thinking about tomatoes. I have to think about the impact each action I do has in the ecosystem, in the energetic resources, in the politics…” So that is why he advocates the need to change each one’s approach to the world from a anthropocentric perspective to a geocentric perspective. This echoes in nature, also in human nature, but also in arts.
Everything is connected and everyone is connected. TryAngle is part of that posture, and that is one of the reasons why Rui Horta entered the conversation sharing his strong belief that “the way to have better artists is making sure they meet each other, and the way we can improve the art is going through the process of learning with our peers”. But it also makes resonance in other ways with TryAngle, such is the case of the choreographer and dancer Leandro Kees. This becomes clear when he explains his particular interest in the subject because of his recent research on the impact consumption in the supermarket has in other aspects of life. This is what he is working in his next piece. There is also traces of this interconnection of everything – particular in the case of art and life in question – in the words of the dramaturg, theatre director and writer Rui Catalão: “Poetry is everything that comes out of us, on what we do, but that we are not conscious that we are doing. Part of what I do is exposing that, make visible something that comes out which we do not control, that we are not aware of”. And also has resonance in the words of theatre director Thomas Fourneau: “Of course I have obsessions, about the representation of violence, about the creation of the difference, about the thing which is hidden. I believe the concept of difference is very important to question the reality of our life”. And it is identifiable when composer and performer Jorg Ritzenhoff says, while we listen to a recording of sounds he shares with the group at the end of all artists participating in TryAngle Montemor-O-Novo, “this is the water falling down”. After that one, comes the sound of the flushing of the toilet, and then the sound of the paper where the hands were dried after being washed. And then a door closing. And that may just be enough: everything is connected, and facing complexity is possibly the only hope for the future we have. Or, in the version of Alfredo Cunhal, it is not possible to farm only thinking about tomatoes.