I don’t mean to get all gushy about it being the end of the year blah blah. My inbox and news feeds are crammed with “looking back”, “taking stock” followed by…. wait for it… “what’s next?”
But… sometimes punctuations like year ends are a good opportunity to raise the poignant moments out of the avalanche that is general life. This one is an important one, so I’m saying it again here because I’m worried that many people missed it. The most poignant moment of 2015 for me was a performance of “Celebration Florida” by Greg Wohead. People think that because I’m an artist, therefore I always get what artwork is about. That’s not at all the case. I’m never really sure. I think this work was something about saying goodbye, about surrogacy…about using people as a surrogate for someone else… I think. Whatever it was about, it had nothing at all to do with Celebration Florida. Maybe it wasn’t so much its aboutness that gripped me. It was its honesty, it’s realness. Two performers stand in for the artist himself. They’re instructed via headphones to perform the piece he created. They are surrogates for him in a piece about loneliness and saying goodbye (sorry if I got that wrong), but by the end they are real surrogates for us, the audience. Audience members walk up to them to give them a hug, they hug them like they were hugging someone they lost, someone they may never see again.
The work had such a deep impact on me it caused a surge of feelings that changed my life a little. That night did actually become a good bye for me. It crossed into reality in a way that could not have been more elegantly crafted.
I’m never sure who, if anyone, reads my blogs. Some of you know me as a Pilates teacher, some as a colleague, some as an artist or friend. There’s a reason I combine both my teaching and artistic work and that’s because my motivation as a teacher is just as much fed by my artistic endeavours as my artistic work is fed by my teaching. (Though, perhaps the latter is more literal.) And, something I’d really like for 2016 is to encourage more of the people I teach to see some of the amazing work that I get to see. Who knows, it might just change you.