Tobin’s Journal: March 31st, 2005

Thursday, March 31, 2005

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Just settling in to London life again. Been dreaming Dali for the last few days since seeing the exhibit. (not to be missed-REALLY). I actually left thinking he was not as crazy as I thought. His ideas and the planning behind his work are really brilliant and methodical-right down to the utilization and purposeful aggravation of his own dark paranoia. Picked up the short book “dali on modern art” and read it on the plane over. Very good, and will give you a good laugh along the way. He talks a lot about what it means to be modern-his ties to classicism. I was heavily entranced by the section of the exhibit entitled Love and Death. It was haunting and I have a feeling those images will bleed into what I work on next. It definitely sets a tone as I prepare to dive into this educational / development period on Tristan and Isolde. There is a landscape of Dali mingling with the Mahler research and turn of the century Vienna (what I have been working on the last couple of weeks for the new Miro show). Thought about running out to the Caravaggio exhibit today, but decided to give my mind a small break.

My imagination was exhausted after Dali. I will probably go in the next week. Had a conversation with Pete Wyer about how much we are put into the shoes of a businessman as artists today. It was after we had a discussion about grants and funding and budgets and we had to remind ourselves to talk about our art. If I can be positive about this business/art dual identity-I do believe it intensifies the artist side. My feelings about my role and identity, my purpose as an artist is growing stronger. For those of you visiting this journal you will hear more about this (more than you may want to even), but I do feel it is exceedingly important not just for you to know my ideas as an artist-but for the community of artists today to have purpose and agenda beyond mere fiscal success, or succes defined as merely existing in some way as an artist. It is important for us not to drop the tradition of artist as an outsider who can look in on the current climate of society, and prod it, challenge, comment on it, embrace, spit in it’s eye, with beauty or ugliness or whatever our individual and or collaborative voices may be. Or else we just turn into some form of paid entertainer, a cog in the capitalist driven society where success is gaged through how big, how fabulous, how much cash, how much stability, how well we follow directions.

I am not saying that success is bad-I embrace success-but I will define that success-and how sour a success will be if we look back and find we lost our voice along the way. The success would be hollow. I hope other artist/director/managers are reading this–because there is nothing wrong with us managing our companies correctly–but if we forget to be artists-especially these days-what is the point.

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