Do you ever find yourself floating through life in a daily routine and forget why you are on your current path feeling neither here nor there?
I have been struggling with this very question as I experience a relatively stagnant working period among several projects that offer neither the excitement of a beginning nor the satisfaction of an ending. What will this challenge of enduring the “in-between” days teach me?
Last Saturday, I was given two lessons on endurance by spending an artist’s day alone in my beloved NYC. I attended two separate performances I had been looking forward to: one for the last couple of months, and the other...for an entire adult lifetime.
Tony Orrico, a friend, performer, and visual artist, presented an afternoon performance at the New Museum of his work, Penwald: 15: fourths and quarters. From the 7th floor Sky Room in the museum, I watched Tony work as he was framed by a panoramic view of the sun-soaked NYC skyline. The ritual of his performance is apparent as graphite circular drawings emerge from his body’s precise movements on a large piece of white paper. The mindfulness of how he creates his work has to be seen to be fully appreciated. At one point another member of Tony’s otherwise silent audience was so inspired, he spontaneously uttered one word: “awesome.” Certainly, the experience of watching a piece of art be created in real-time brings you easily into the present moment. Watching something that was not there on a previously blank surface come into being through Tony’s mind/body connection is thrilling. His process takes time and physical effort and sheer endurance. Some of his works can take 30 minutes and others take hours. Yet each moment is important for the completion of the whole. If Tony skipped a stroke of his graphite stick or eliminated part of his pathway in the pattern he was creating, the finished work would lose continuity, through-line, and intention.
Endurance Lesson #1:I should appreciate the importance of the “in-between” moments in my current projects. Without each one of them occurring now, the full realization and intention of my completed work will not be possible.
Follow this link to visit Tony Orrico's website to see videos of his work and the process of their creation.
Stay tuned…my second performance adventure and Endurance Lesson #2 will be posted this Saturday!