Image by Jacob Barber

How We Talk About Our Art Practice

As artists, one of the hardest things in the world to do is talk about ourselves. And at the same time, it’s one of the best things we can do– not only as a way to present our art practice to others, but as a method to hone our purpose within it. 

It can be REALLY challenging to try to differentiate what you do and who you are in a statement, especially as we go back and forth between communications with audiences naive to flow and circus arts, and audiences that are deeply immersed in pushing these art forms forward. Too many, the mere existence of our art form is so intriguing in its own right, it can overshadow what we express inside of it. That can be comforting; that can also be a way we muzzle ourselves. 

Image by Jacob Barber

One of the frustrations, one often spoken and forgotten and spoken again, is the turnover of flow artists and the flow community. And I can’t separate that turnover from the fact that we don’t have more discussions of the meaning and metaphors underlying our movements as much as the technique of our movement. Especially with the astounding creative and intelligent minds that surround us. While this can be a new and uncomfortable process, in the end it may draw deeper meaning to our practices and challenge our communities in new and beautiful ways.

What then, is your art practice that transcends your specific art form?

 

What are you communicating in your movement and work that goes beyond the expertise and practice you display? How do you communicate those in different ways? And how do you speak about that?

Art Practice. Image by Jacob Barber

The variety of forms of communication are an ecosystem: there is no one style or medium that will encapsulate your art practice by itself. There is something to learn from practicing a rich 15 second explanation to a curious neighbor, something else to learn by showing your practice space and discussing routines (yes, even by video chat) and further opportunities in applying for grants outside of the flow arts realms. Write manifestos, full of fire and brimstone for your art, and write more restrained artists statements. Write constructive critiques and reviews of each others’ works. Workshop your videos and performances before they are ever previewed.

Art Practice. Image by Jacob Barber.

In working on an array of statements, methods, and deliveries, your art practice will not only take on a new outward definition, but also spark new lines of inquiry and purpose that can propel your work forward. 

There are so many amazing practices, and there are many individuals and groups who undertake these endeavors already. The more we can develop this reflection and ability to talk between ourselves in renewed ways, the more we will discover our voices and artistic power. 

Written by Hoodie

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