Think I am getting a sense of what the 21st century really looks like. Comics and science fiction don’t seem that far off. What stands out from recent travels and art events are the mix of hybrid forms and the influence of epic abandoned spaces. Flying in to Toronto and back gave me a brief view of the sanctuary above the clouds and then a birds eye view of the two cities. The urban sprawl, abandoned mines, the maze of freeways, electric light grid and suburban archtitecture or lack there of. Emmanuel Jouthe’s plastic playground at Espace Libre, Shurum Burum’s klezmer aerial event at the Distillery in Toronto, and the photography exhibit Manufactured Landscapes at MAC all compose with technology, decaying environments and random human interactions. The same elements I saw from the air. Distance allows us to capture the haphazard complexity that defines these times.
Another form of distancing I noticed on my trip was the anglo-canadian reliance on sarcasm. I would say it accounts for a large percentage of my humor, but lately has been leaving a bitter taste in my mouth. It is a cheap version of wit and seems to be a way to feel better than someone or something.
Last week I was a part of a choreographic workshop with Ame Henderson where various dramatic scenarios were used to explore vulnerability. She was interested in exposing our private selves. The person you are when you dance around the house alone in your underwear. It was scary to expose this state to a room of strangers. I became aware that I have avoided fully committing and revealing for awhile now. I think it is pretty common to protect yourself by not trying too hard and sarcasm is such an effective way of distancing oneself from the danger of judgement.
Maybe the Canadian identity is an understated superiority complex; we sarcastically claim the high ground because there are so few differences left. The C. persona is of nice, often apologetic and possibly apathetic person. But we use cutting humor to feel separate from Americans. Our distance from world affairs means it easier to mock than to act. Our government did use to represent some humanitarian social values but now is mostly concerned with economic stability. We have natural resources, national education and healthcare but don’t really do much to protect them. Were we such a consumer society before free trade? My sense of humor is definitely shaped by the Canadian mentality CBC, specifically Kids in the Hall but now I am realizing just how bitter it really is. How it doesnèt stand upi for anything just ctiticises as something slips away.
It is definitely presumptuous to speak for the nation but as an individual I have to say I am getting curious about what it is to be implicated. To reveal my opinions rather than define myself by what I am not. Not a ballet dancer, not a racist, not someone who uses my body to sell things, not a star, not a conservative, not an american, not a terrorist, not rich, not an extremist, not well known, not yet.
What is the opposite of the statements, where is the personality and the values that are there. Can I stand to be laughed at, can I handle being judged. More and more I realize that be a creator is having the courage to reveal. It is funny how democracy is held up as the symbol of freedom. I am not sure the dominant majority is always clear on the best direction to proceed. We leave in a consumer world which preys on our insecurities and I guess self actualizing is having the courage to stay true to inner wisdom and not seek outer approval.
The Sunday meanderings of a hungover, sarcastic and soon to be thirty year old girl.