Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Art Away

Once upon a time, in a place art, art away...
The quotes from Lauwers are supposed to encourage my Portuguese and Canadian friends/readers. It isn't easy to create art, namely theatre, in a country with limited background in the area. It seems like working on the desert, with scarce resources, feedback, context, leverage. One feels ridiculous in the face of such theatrical (cultural) monsters as France or the U.S. One may even get local recognition, but it just seems of an entirely different level than the real world (notice the irony in my voice...). Even the internet, with all the good you can say about it, does not solve the problem. You can know more and get a better feel of what's happening elsewhere (and this blog intends to be a small contribution to these objectives), but you're still where you were - everything from the language you use, to the web design you have (if you have a web page!), to the Google position of your group/show/project/notes seems to tell you you're still not there, you're still a provincial artist.
This might not bother many artists. Good for them. But those who are bothered by being provincial don't necesserily worry about fame or such - they genuinely realize there is something missing in what they do - and look for reasons. I believe this can be a very healthy process - but one needs to realize that being far away can actually be an advantage. Lauwers is just one example, Lepage is an even better known one. Those are people who found the lack of serious, powerful guidelines to be a blessing - it allowed them to spread their wings and experiment, without the pressure of a know-it-all milieu. This is not to say being far from the center is the only true way of being a good ex-centric. The likes of Pina Bausch and Robert Wilson, or even of Grotowski and Tadeusz Kantor, proved it isn't. But the other ones, the outsiders are more important - they give hope to the underdogs.

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