Art, Celebrities, Culture, Events, Important People, Life, New York City, Personal Liberation, Sex, Sprituality

No Filter: My Thoughts on the Indie Art Film The Triptych

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Don’t call this a film review. It’s more about how I internally processed this product of emulsion of blood, sweat, and tears.

The Triptych (dir. Terence Nance, 2012) highlights the work of artists Sanford Biggers, Wangechi Mutu and Barron Claiborne.  It was screened at the Studio Museum of Harlem on August 9, 2013 for Uptown Fridays: No Filter.

I missed the first artist. I was having a drink, on a friend. It had a sprig of thyme in it. However, read on because there is still something to be gleaned from what I did see, and how it affected/challenged me.

 

wangenchiWagenchi Mutu

Her work is pensive and multi textural /”multi species”, as she somewhat put it. What I do appreciate is that she uses the female image quite often. The only subject  I ever used in my college art class was the nude black female body, so I could identify with that.

Being an artist myself (writer/singer), but not an art intellectual, (Cooper Union was the bedrock of Wagenchi’s art school knowledge), I have to say the work was…profound. So profound that I just didn’t get it. Maybe I was too base (chakra), too horny to understand what it all meant.

I like the scenes best where she was filmed at the studio and at school, I feel she was freer there. I enjoyed hearing her speak about her life. It was more relatable to me.

She spoke of wanting to have a crush on everything. Not wanting to know what’s going to happen next. That typifies my life, or what’s left of it. I don’t know I’m not really in the BEST place right now. I’m a point where I’ve just had to give it all up and just wait for the chips to fall where they may. So excuse my rawness. But for some reason I’m struggling to know why it’s important to me, why her work matters and why I’m even writing notes on her. I guess I’m “trying too hard” to get it. As Wagenchi said, “loving art is letting go.” Hmm, synchronicity.  ‘Cause that is exactly where I am in my life. There aren’t really any more fucks to give.

 

barronBarron Claiborne

I remember him. He actually took test shots of me last summer for a project he was supposed to do, back when I was going hard trying to be a nude model. He never got back to me, and for many a month that day had slipped from my memory.

He’s more vocal, his speech is clear and theatrical. Wagenchi was poetic, ethereal, and harder to follow.

He’s cool.  When I was there, at his home studio, he served me tea.  How can you not like someone who serves you tea?

The crowd thoroughly enjoyed his rant on the music industry and the difference in treatment of Whites and Blacks. “Race” seemed to be a theme in his segment of the film, understandably considering his work.

Watching him take pictures there, I remembered his process…I remember the background and how he never seemed to stop talking while he worked. With his words, he teaches, through stories. He’s kind of like a griot. But yet, there was stillness. Maybe I was nervous, so maybe I was quiet. And I’m never quiet.

“No one’s life is this miserable,” he says of characters in books like “Black Boy,” as the pages of all the typical books on black life we are made to read in school slowly curl into flames. Yes, some genius (and I do NOT mean that sarcastically) decided to blasphemously burn black classics (evil grin), and Barron’s voice is the soundtrack to that. Ironically, the crowd kind of roared with laughter. I always thought we humans were sick. (Yet somehow, innocent.)

As he paints his skin white, Barron tells that the NY Times never gave him assignments based on race until they realized he was Black, then they only gave him Black people to shoot.  “Because they don’t see you as a Universal person.”

His work is so moving.  It made my pussy wet. He shoots Black men in a way in which he wants them to look beautiful, their “true essence.”

The film ended with him swinging around his wand like he would a wand was the last scene.

It’s mass appeal balanced the first part of the film.

Oh shit. He’s fucking here.

I nervously stood and asked the first question to what felt like the Rat Pack of independent art films. “What ever happened to the piece I did a test shoot for?”

Barron’s response, “I’ve been taking pictures since I was ten, so sometimes I take pictures over a period of 2 to even 25 years.”

It’s important to note that in my question I slipped in there that I am a journalist and I still wanna be a nude model.  I heard gasps. I wanted to repeat myself.

Someone on the panel said that Barron’s work is the most influential in terms of normalizing Black skin; someone else added that he subtly adds cliché notions of black skin in his work.  “It is about color,” Barron frankly responds, adding, “I always admired artists who made their own kind of world and people still get it.” We got you, Barron. In more ways than you might even imagine.

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Culture, Life, Nature, New York City, Personal Liberation, Sex, Sprituality

Down By the River: A Woman in Worship

I went down the lake in Prospect Park today. Whenever I see people sitting there on the benches watching the water, I think “people get ready, because you’re about to get a show.”

I had sex yesterday. It was skin to skin, it was natural, it was what many people call “raw.” And it was looong overdue. I knew there was some energy to be moved around because the energy in my womb felt stagnant. I was reminded of this when I decided that my goal for the day was to “just be” (couldn’t even figure this out until I laid down enough to get quiet with myself, which is what the result of healing brought me to do) and I ended up having to self heal a sharp pain in what felt like my left ovary.

I healed myself through the flow of music. I was moved to place my hand on that ovary and sing to her. And, the pain ceased.

But, because I started thinking about ALL of this stuff it came back.

I knew I needed to go visit my mom, that is, Mother Nature.

She grounds me, speaks to me in all her elements: the water of the lake, the air, the ground itself.

I began by swirling my hips to a few jazz songs. I felt like being in a misty mood. I wanted songs I knew. I wanted songs that would open me up to all the feelings of worship.

I, of course, got a man who tried to call me over to him from a bench when I began doing yoga poses to break up some of the stagnant chi in my womb, and I told him I wasn’t speaking to anybody right now.

I switched to gospel, and began to feel the words. All the songs had to do with depending solely on God for any and every thing I could ever need, material, or ethereal; God as my source.

I began to cry. I began to sob and scream. I was, like I had so many times in public whether in worship or in orgasm, having a transformative experience. I’m glad it was in nature.

I looked up and saw an entire group of Mexicans standing not too far a way looking at me. Two came over to speak. They asked me was I sad and told me they had saw me crying. I told them I was OK, and that I was worshiping.

One was quiet. The one who did most of the talking was telling me how beautiful I was and that he had a wife at home. She had recently choked and punched him and he ended up camping out, with some of the other men who don’t have homes, in the park.

I knew he was sincere yet premature in asking me to be his wife, then girlfriend, then wanting to see me later in the week, the next day, and then touching me with a caress on the arm, a head on the shoulder. I didn’t want to be mean, the man was clearly broken and looking to nature as a solace, as was I.

He was drunk though, and not in a good place to make the most sensible decisions, however he was very clear about wanting to see me again.

He seemed intelligent enough. I took his number because I did want to check on him again. As he walked me out of the park the other men who had laid out their palates to sleep under the stars that night were literally screaming “Please don’t  go! Please don’t go!”

I was their perceived panacea. They needed me around, even if they weren’t interacting with me. I could tell these men just needed a nurturing, feminine word, or touch.

They would get it from me, energetically, from afar, and nature, hopefully…if they chose to accept it.

I politely said “goodbye” to the men and allowed the drunk Mexican to walk me out of the park. He had told me secrets about the snake who only comes out every seven days to feed on the park rats, the giant turtle who stays in the middle of the lake and never comes to the shore, and the two ducklings, one sick, one well, who he had named after his brother who died in Mexico. He gave the ducklings nicknames they used to call him in Spanish, “repairman” and “lamb.”

I exchanged a hug with him after I took his number and told him I would check on him to see if he was doing better. I don’t know tantra that well, but I’m a healer, and I’m sure I gave that man hope. He couldn’t believe that “someone so beautiful” was single, let alone talking to him, but I was open, and I too was grateful for the loving and kind words he said to me in admiration.

When giving becomes receiving, it is a beautiful feeling, and I think my presence, filled with the presence of God, the Source, was a blessing to all those men sleeping there in the park. Never underestimate the power of a river and woman in worship. 

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Life, New York City, Personal Liberation, Sprituality

FEAR- False Evidence Appearing Real….

What I fear….it must be false. It BETTER be.

Is it time to list my fears again so I can obliterate their validity? Let’s:

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I’m scared that I will NEVER move out of my sister’s lovely abode and I would be like dead weight that they will carry around wondering how they got themselves in that situation and how did I.

FALSE EVIDENCE: In no way has she indicated that she doesn’t believe in me, thinks I’m a burden, or is intending to let me live with them when they move! They’d kick me out before that happens! Hell I’d kick myself out.

I’m scared that every single effort I’ve made to make money in a normal way is in vain. I feel it’s eluding me because I really don’t want it.

FALSE: Maybe you don’t want it. The messages are clear. Focus on your creativity. Work your network. Be fearless and fierce. Understand that the first steps are the hardest. The infrastructure is falling apart around you because you’re creating a new reality. The more you struggle to try to hold it up, the more you struggle. The Universe will ALWAYS provide.

I’m scared. Just scared to be scared and scared THAT I’m scared.

FALSE: You know this is a big game right? The more you laugh the more your so called “problems” are fading away.

I’m happy to be having sex again.

Now we’re talkin!

I’m scared I’m wasting time…

FALSE: Does what you’re doing feel good? Does it FEEL productive? DOES IT DIRECTLY RELATE TO YOUR GOALS? DO YOU HAVE GOALS? Maybe you need to ask your Holy Spirit just what you should be focusing on.

What are your fears?

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