I've been thinking about the word respect recently.
Actually I've been thinking about it a lot.
It all came about when I was in one of my Theatre Industry seminars at RHUL. Within this particular seminar we were lucky enough to look at Live Art works from the likes of Martin O'Brien to Ron Athey. To me Live Art is exciting, innovative and often very beautiful. As Lois Keidan from the Live Art Development Agency stated, Live Art provides a chance or medium for the underrepresented to have a voice. To me, and the rest of Jump the Puddle, this is very important. It is important that those making art, whether that be traditional theatre or Live Art, and the voices that they are presenting in these artworks are respected.
In contrast to my interest in Live Art, a lot of my peers just 'didn't get it'. They didn't get the process or nature of Live Art. This is fair enough! Live Art is seen as niche, often underground (less so nowadays) and sometimes unsettling to audience members unaware of the extremities of this type of work.
'I don't RESPECT that type of work'.
This is where I cracked - I got quite angry in all honesty, so I'm going to try and restrain myself from going on a rant! I can understand my peers not liking an artwork, but not having any respect for it seemed to demean (in this particular case) Live Art and all that an art industry should stand for.
1. I believe all works of art should be respected whether you like it or not! For starters it's just common courtesy; we're all in this industry together no matter our identity or work we make. How can we create the best work if we do not respect fellow artists and their work?
2. To make an artwork an artist has to go on a process and a journey. No matter what medium you are creating in, this process is hard work - if it wasn't it wouldn't be called an art-WORK. To say you don't respect an artwork seemingly disregards these hours of preparation.
3. VIRTUOSITY. As students learning about such a broad range of performance I feel like we need to respect the work of current skilled practicioners, even if the work we are being shown isn't particularly something we're interested in. We have not yet found out our identities as practicioners. We have not built up skills from years of practice. A lot of us haven't even made work to be seen in the 'real world'. Without respect we won't be able to develop the industry - we'd be too stuck in our ways, scared to experiment or be inspired from what has been.
I'm certainly not saying we all have to like each and every single piece of artwork we go and see or experience or even learn about. In some ways not liking something is better than loving something; you can see the cracks and fill them in to make a piece of art which is even more developed than what was before. I just believe that we should keep RESPECT.
Choose your words carefully my friends.
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!