I hate going to festivals in which I feel I have stakes in the art form being canibalised. Festivites swarming over the poorly, skinny carcasses of art, like treasure-seeking maggots. “Where’s the Zeitgeist!” Desperately burrowing through the competing comestibles. Craving sustenance that might staunch the hollow feeling we’ve had since losing our belief in the validity of the form, or perhaps the lifestyle, we’ve found ourselves, at this late stage of our lives, entombed in. The sensation that if a savior doesn’t arise to elevate the whole vessel of the form, slowly sinking on the indifferent wash of the larger cultural miasma, it might be time to gnaw off a limb or two of our own and get the hell out, or at least to an upper deck, become a presenter, an agent, an officer. The panic. The shitty feeling of never being “the one”. The gluttony and disgust with myself and all my wee people. Wee the petit petit bourgeoisie of Arty town.
I just find the context of festivals to be not amenable to the experience of engaging with an art.
If it’s a party we want, that would be one thing, but to ask a form and a “community” to support a presenter’s party, seems a little screwy to me. If your cock is that big, just it lay out on the table and celebrate! Why the communal vortex? All those pricks muddying the water. And vaginas too, I just can’t find an image at the moment- I’ve been sick you see.
One show at a time. What’s wrong with that? You want it? Back it.
I go to festivals.
I’ve seen good work at festivals.
I am dependent upon festivals, to a large degree, to get gigs.
I want gigs, but I don’t think festivals are good for art.
Heritage tells me they are good for building communities. Don’t we inevitably live in community? Who the fuck do we think we are? Building a community. What a lot of gall to digest.
What are we trying to build with an arts festival?
A context for the work?
I’ve heard we need festivals to present edgier “work”, to create an environment where the interface with this sort of edgy art thing is made little less…. edgy. Safe and enjoyable for the masses and masses of rich and supportive people who will come to a festival and then be converted into enlightened art patrons. Attending all my shows from then on! Oh, poppycock! Edgy festivals present entertainingly audience friendly edginess… all fun and avant-, in it’s packaging, but not difficult, cause that might ruin the new golden age of community for us all.
That’s so depressing- pardon the art everybody- we don’t believe in it either…..but isn’t this, this festival thing, cool.
It sure seems to make all the shareholders happy. The sponsors, the governments, the presenters, the big agents, the mini movers and shakers, (we get out our martini shakers – you bet!), the administrators, and the fabulous audiences, all commended over and over again for making it all happen. It’s fabulous, but what’s missing?
Oh, the art.
I’m too sick to pretend I know a better way. But something feels hollow.
p.s. of course I don't mean you, or your festival.