Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Where do I begin?

While driving on the Severn Bridge on my way to Cardiff, Wales I felt the sun for the first time in days. I would be lying if I told you that the shock of the last week had worn off yet. I chose to drive myself from the airport to rehearsals for the ADP tour because I needed to clear my head. I didn’t consider that I had never driven on the wrong side of the road before. I flew into Manchester and a pair of very kind eyes seemed to size me up effortlessly. He gave me a map, explained everything he thought I would need to know in order to get to Wales and physically I got there without a hitch. I knew if I didn’t drive myself and talk through the last many days of hell, I would be useless to everybody and that’s not what I want. I had packed my bags before the art exhibition I was involved with. I had planned it perfectly or I would never have taken the job to be involved with the gallery in the first place. What I didn’t count on in a million years was this sense of failure that I would have to contend with after putting so much time and love into this visual art presentation. I had written my thoughts down the morning after the gala event. I need to post it so that I can move on…

The opening has left me tired and feeling empty. The night it-self was buzzing with excitement. Was it a success? The reaction has been explosive… positive and negative. I was taught as a child from my grandmother that this kind of reaction, when you are the gallery, is never a bad thing. There have been lines of people wanting to see what all the ruckus is about. So, from that standpoint, there is no reason to be down. What bothers me, when I can quiet my racing thoughts for half a second, is the way some of these artists and their works have been mis-understood. When I read all the critiques, I am left feeling as if I have failed some of these women artists. “Maybe just maybe” I think to myself, “if I had helped to present them in a different sequence, maybe then the literal mind would have been more open to the abstract.” Of all people, my friend Santa was the one who actually predicted to me on the night of the opening what some of the papers and the online reports would say about some of these women. At the time, I was horrified when I saw her giving this well-known little man a mental dressing down. Only our friend Isabel saw this and as I stood frozen and shocked, I think I saw Isabel smile calmly almost as if to say, ‘Let her go she knows what she’s on about.’ So I stayed out of the way. What I did not know in that frame of a second was what Santa had already ferreted out…. What the critique of this little man would be about the exhibition. And I say the word “little” not because of his looks but because of his heart. But it was Santa who realized first that this critic was going to slice the work of the sensitive, powerful art and only praise one or 2 women in the whole exhibition.

Because he writes for such an influential paper, this does matter…. in our world, unfortunately. I had personally called some of these women artists originally when their agents had been reserved about such a broad concept. I explained how I would personally be involved. Having had some success over the years with exhibitions they chose to trust me and eventually they agreed. The gallery is happy. Business is booming. I have heard nothing from the artists or their agents since the reviews have been published. I woke up to a bird tapping on my window. I took it to mean, ‘Clyde come outside.’ Am I running? Maybe. I keep getting texts from Kyle, which is thoughtful. But I have nothing to say, not right now. This is not about him so I have to work through it myself. I realize the response from the reviews is out of my control but I was so sure, so positive that these artists would be understood because of the way that I conceived their presentation. Wrong. All wrong. How did I get it so wrong?....... If I didn’t have to be in the U.K. imminently I would be jumping in my car and driving. Driving where? It wouldn’t matter. I just have to get out of here.

23 comments:

Ernie said...

Oh Clyde don't be so hard on yourself. You did the best you could which is more than that "little" man can say for anything he has ever done.

MistressManda said...

We can't control others, we can only control ourselves. It's going to feel harsh for a bit, that feeling of failure and the thought that you may have let people down. But the world works this way for a reason, many times to humble, other times to show us the sad nature of those we can't change. Take your moments alone and then shake it off. You have alot more to give to the world...don't let one bad moment keep you from giving it.

Anonymous said...

There are many, many people who are being touched by your art right now. It is not a failure. You are not a failure. These things you've done...they're far-reaching. They are long-term adjustments in the observer's psyches. Know you've done something very important and that you continue to move and inspire people.

It's at these moments that you realize the process is really what feeds you personally, not the end result.

People have always misinterpreted you. It's the risk you take, being who you are. I hope you feel it's worth it. That the art is worth it. That your sacrifices and hard work and sweat are worth it.

There will always be that one girl who will take in what you've done and be changed forever. Keep doing it for her. For me. I'm that girl, and I thank you.

Anonymous said...

have fun the tour!!!! hope i c u on tour where i live at!!!!! looooooooooved ur art show!!!!! pic's look nice!!!! my review: nice job clyde!!!! keep up the good work!!!!! also say hi 2 all the "gurls" 4 me!!!! hope 2 c them on tour 2 where i live it!!!! and i also think that u have crush on klye or that klye has crush on u!!!!! if u want 2 drive sumwhere then drive 2 place that make u happy inside and outside!!!!!!!
mkgtweety

Chrissy said...

this little man is why i've been so fearful of actually showing any of my pieces of art...
but I think he's and people like him are here for a reason..maybe his stupid thoughtless reaction to these wonderful women was needed...
either way...art lovers..and I mean the real art lovers...who can see through the grime..and paint..and tears and thoughts..and emotions that are poured into what we call art...will always come up with their own impression of it...we need little mindless men like him..to make us realize how deep and emotional something really is...he's the yin to the yang in this cycle clyde (notice how similar clyde and cylce are)...you should know that dahhhhhhhhling...
There's too many people who live their lives with shades over their eyes...its sad...very sad...but we know how wonderful these women are...and what it takes to really express yourself in such a world like this...
with love
clydes little sister ;)

Anonymous said...

Clyde! I don't know what these guys are saying, and i don't care! The show was brilliant! I had the best time--not just because I got to take off my "supermom" cape for the evening and just be good 'ol Ellen, but because all of us were there together to support each other in our feminine power.

Santa really did give that "small" critic a hard time. She drips with honey when she is at her most fierce. I think he may have tinkled a little in his knickers by the time she was done!.

Lily and Ben wanted you to know that they will see you at the next children's art exhibit. Thank you for championing them as i do. Thank you for letting me appreciate art through your eyes, Clyde. You personify art for me.

I'm so glad to hear rehearsals are underway, but if you need to escape for awhile you can always drive here....I know Tori will be driving everyone for several months. If you need a quiet cup of tea, you know where to get in touch.

Love and smoochie with lippy to you and the rest of the posse.

Gris said...

So is Clyde putting on an exhibition of all this art somewhere? If so could someone tell me where it is? Thanks.

grispol@hotmail.com

Pete said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pete said...

I think I've almost cottoned on to the idea that sensitivity is far harder a skill to preserve than any duck's back's water repellence. So if you feel it when they blunder about with mouths bigger than their boots thats maybe the proof that you're holding on to what theyve always wished they had.

As someone's been saying to me a lot lately, chin up.

Anonymous said...

Oh Clyde, i feel so sad that you're blue. You haven't let anyone down. I found your show amazing, and your skill is to give something powerful and true to the favoured few. I get angry when i see and hear of the well received shows and wonder if i am the outcast for aligning myself so much to the works, such as your show, which speak to me. Ultimately, i'd rather be me and feel sidelined than a middle of the road alsoran.

You have a truly fantastic gift which i feel blessed to have received. As Pete says, chin up, soon you'll feel almost fine, almost rosey. Give my love to the girls. I want a dirty martini!

caio said...

oh, clyde...

Rae said...

To dearest Clyde and all those who are trying to save all the pieces of this world,
Your will and passion are creating a great wave of energy, and this force will travel beyond dimensions, like music. Its beat will be heard by all the ears and souls of those that are ready to listen; and those that listen will be changed....and will change the world.
For the little men of this world, and those who resonate with them, their ears are still closed to this melody. Perhaps one day they will be ready to hear it.
Please know that the energy is getting faster.
All my love,
Rae

The End said...

Hm.

You interest me.

Anonymous said...

You can come and stay here if you want :P

Er... what's a 'mental dressing down'? Sounds scary, especially when it's done by Santa... LOL

Good luck on the rehearsal's Hon!

See you in Amsterdam (hopefully)
Love and kuddo's!
x Indra

spinachluvr said...

that little man forgot to say how much valie export is like himself. it must have been the editor making him cut his review down to bite-sized marketable pieces.

Rudy said...

I totally love these blogs.

So, um, Clyde m'dear, I think you need to talk to that friend Tori. She said something recently that has been truly resonating with me: there's no shame in an honest mistake. It's something that has been comforting me as I prepare for the return of Saturn and try to let go of some of the mistakes of the past. You know how it is. Anyhoozy, as a student of performance art I will research the women you've presented here. Take care, sweetie!

Anonymous said...

Dearest Clyde, I have a request: do you mind opening the show in Amsterdam, with the song 'My posse can do'??? PLEASE? (Don't think Tori will mind if you ask her?)

;)

Love Indra

RTR said...

Dear Clyde:

What’s a review? Is it a real appreciation of that message that lies beneath every work of art? It’s true, it takes an expert eye to tell, but also an effort and the will to discover that special meaning that lies beneath...

Saludos desde Chile
(Best regards from Chile)

Anonymous said...

clyde, clyde, clyde...how could you possibly have excluded sophie calle from this exhibition?! she would have fit in just perfectly. and isabel seems to know her, maybe she could introduce the two of you. anyway, good luck on tour. sorry i missed you in rome, milan and florence. maybe next time you can come down south to sicily.

Sibling said...

I have a theory about art critics, of all kinds: If they all agree on something, then there's something wrong with the work or collection. Universally negative reviews -- well, that's usually pretty obvious. Universally positive reviews, though, can almost be worse. They come in two cases: uncritical praise/worship, or a work/collection so abstract only professional critics can appreciate it. Either way, it leaves me utterly uninterested in what the artist has to say.

But when there is dissent, differences of opinion, even arguments over what it all means . . . that's when things get interesting. That's when I actually want to go see it for myself, to use my own judgment.

ceciliaswims said...

Ah the long drive. I lust after it as you do now that I have roots. But the roots are just as beautiful because they force me to face it. The reality is that there are one in twenty who see my watercolor stains as I do when I am alone in my studio and exhausted from the sheer force of my own spiritual push. And the other nineteen are perplexed, confused, possibly angry or frustrated lost in their self-deceptions that the rest of the world does or should see it as they do.

And they are such lonely men and women who think and behave in this way. I can't talk to them.

So I speak to the one and when she sees it as I do - I am ready again to stand up from the ashes and to give another piece of myself.

Anonymous said...

Oh Clyde, you've been so silent lately. I miss reading you especially as I imagine you've had so many experiences in the last couple weeks.
Have you felt like the work of art that's being observed when you're onstage?
How do you 'walk people through you' when you're singing?
Love,
Eog

Happyleighme said...

I know when light touches anything it alters electrons within...

the object it touches tells us what it is not... what it can't absorb from the white light...

yeah. can't tell you what reminded me of the above.

when you sing, create, play, confess, personify - this Light, it shimmers onto and within all objects, and they absorb you and shimmer with you - and what they are - they resonate with you in communion ... and what they are not -

well, that shines a bit forth in confession, it is as if your personification is familiar and also distant... and this SHIMMER... keeps us all tranced...

it isn't like the tunes the pide piper used for the mice.... what vibration he must have tapped into...

instead it is everything with just enough familiar... and sweet libation with medicinal rivers for those to follow... and the spiritual and primitive - that is what we hear.

maybe. or maybe i don't know.