personal statement

 i love ireland

my desire for this work

is to be involved in a situation

where people join them selves with their creativity,

and let it flow;

join their creativity to their desire,

and express themselves;

and I say this desire is the fundamental movement in politics –

our own desires for our selves, our families,

our homes, our peoples,

our lands, our worlds;

so we join we our creativity to our desire, and let it flow,

and express ourselves, and work through these desires;

rather than taking up positions and holding to them,

we allow them to move, change,

and grow with each other;

and there be solidarity between us,

the solidarity of artist|citizens –

solidarity in each making an effort to join with their creativity –

to join with what’s on their insides, and let it flow out

into expression on the outside:

each person’s creative expression is unique to them,

and not to be judged;

that offering that expression

to the social creative process of the other sixty six

 (the other republic)

sends that expression out to move,

change, be changed,

dance, with other expressions;

ie it is given freedom;

yes, maybe the other sixty six

is about discovering and cultivating

unique and maybe temporary

forms of freedom

                                                                                                                                        jeffrey gormly



2 thoughts on “personal statement

  1. Bernhard Gaul

    In ancient Athens, for a number of decades, Greek Tragedy played a pivotal role in transitioning society through a period of fundamental change in believes and the way we understand ourselves as humans. These tragedies were performed as part of a major public event, the annual festival of the Dionysia, which in its effects and importance were more comparable to The X Factor than visiting a modern day theatre.

    The Dionysia were a national event, three playwrights competing for a prize with a troupe each, made up of 2, later 3 actors and a chorus, made up of citizens of one of the quarters of Athens. Participating in the chorus was a civic duty and honour, as was sponsoring the chorus for wealthy citizens. The entire polis was present.

    Note that these tragedies deal with some of the most terrifying chasms of human existence and it is part of citizenship to participate in overcoming them. Note the collaboration of professionals (the writers, the actors) with lay men in the most serious artistic event of the year, competing for the most coveted art prize the state has to offer.

    Note that it is a form of play in which these chasms are overcome.

    What I’d like to see in our current society is a notion of artistic participation as an essential part of citizenship that comes close to the described. I’d like to stay away, though, from just emphasizing on creativity, which has (deservedly or not) a connotation of dealing with the purely enjoyable, positive or uplifting, and rather demand participation in art (as connoted with dealing with the serious and meaningful, not excluding the joyful or uplifting, but not leaning exclusively towards it either) as a civic right. “Everybody an artist” is the Beuys quote and I understand it in this context.

    Art is a precious space in every society, in which rules are loosened, safe zones and free spaces are created that allow the reflection of issues that otherwise have no space, no language and in most cases no economic bias.

    This is an important space for any society to maintain in order to reflect and renew itself, yet how access, funding, support and opportunities are structured in this space reflects values and priorities of a given society in exemplary fashion. I would see it important in a democratic society to keep access to this open and not just in terms of consumption. Participating in society in a sincere and meaningful manner, getting support and education for that at various stages of life, depending on what an individual’s circumstances are, I think should be demanded as a civic right, and we can start with demanding this for meaningful participation in art.

    Art is a playing field in which structures, ideas and models can be invented, developed and explored; it can be exemplary of what participation could mean in wider social contexts. What I’d expect from the project (quoting Godard) is some experiments or at least theoretical demands to be formulated of what it could mean to pursue art in political ways, to question structures of production, consumption, participation,… rather than (just) trying to produce political art.

    Bernhard Gaul


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