Discouragement vs. Perspective

You know those times when you feel like you should be getting your stuff together and it just isn’t happening? That’s how I’ve been feeling recently. I won’t bore you with the details, but it felt as though bright things were just around the corner but then, alas, opportunity slipped through my grasp (yet again it seems). So, I get depressed, or at least depressed for me which just tends to be a bit lethargic. But, one thing I’ve learned is that the only way out of paralyzing, pity, lethargy is to find proper perspective. So, I managed to find a little, though it was unlooked for at the time.

I was out to first friday in philly alone (no one else could make it, disappointing) wandering, exploring, and generally trying to be inspired. There was some good work, good enough to make me really stop and sit with it for a while, but the best for me definitely came from the Locks Gallery.

Simon Lee: Wintergarden, 2011, 3 channel HD video, 36:00 minutes

Simon Lee’s work straddles the line between photo and video elegantly, while also using internal framing and paired but mismatched realities. It was a show I went into knowing noting about and yet it still grabbed me. The stories being unfolded captured my attention and imagination through their subtle layering that doesn’t happen often for me.

So getting inspired always helps one feel better about one’s own work, but then the flip side of the coin is you see how successful their work has been and then look at the inadequacies of your own pile of misfit toys as it were. Not and ultimately good place to end up. The night went on, saw some other interesting work, and still more “bleh” stuff that I had nothing to say about. But what really lifted my spirits was actually the people I ended up seeing. None of my classmates were able to make it out this month, so I walked the streets alone. But I ran into and had some short conversations with 4 of my former professors from both Rutgers and Moore. It may sound insignificant, but it really made me think that out of a whole city out and about on a friday night, I actually ran into some that know me. It made me feel like just maybe I actually do have a bit of a network forming, people that will vouch for me, people that have their own networks that I am actually a member of in some way.

I don’t know, maybe that sounds crazy, but that’s what it took to get me on the way out of the blues; some much needed perspective. Things may not always feel like they’re going well, but that slow steady process of building connections (and maintaining them) and being present in the world of art is happening in the background regardless, and that is a good thing indeed.