From the Studio

thoughts on art and process in action from a contemporary artist

Sleepless Thoughts

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Last night I stayed awake, thinking about people in extreme poverty and desperate situations- war, etc.  Most especially about children and elderly.  I couldn’t sleep.

I imagined a wall with arms reaching out of it, all ages of arms scattered along a good 15-20 feet, and images on the wall, sometimes projected, sometimes a huge collage, all of those needing help.

I stayed up wondering what the reaction to such a piece would be- would people be able to look or who they shield their eyes and walk by the way most people pass homeless on the street?  People tend to look at art, even (and especially?) when it is disturbing.  Perhaps it would be easier for people than confronting the eyes of the actual people who need the help.  I’m unsure.  I thought perhaps if it was a collage, people might just have to come closer to look.

What would happen if I set up a box for donations to various humanitarian charities on either side?

I feel like there is an odd gap- one is confronted with need, an a cognitive dissonance sets in.  Is it really help or am I enabling someone’s drug habit that got them into this?  Who should I help- there’s just to many.  For some people:  ‘it’s their own fault’.  Or simple fear.  Much of the time we just distance ourselves… and yet we wouldn’t be able to function if we didn’t to some degree. Another one “I’ll help later- I’ll look up a better way to help, I can’t help right now”.

Would such a piece provide the impetus to help with enough safe distance to not flee and provide the means immediately available?  And perhaps a little social pressure.  I suspect that contributions would come in waves- if one person is doing it, others will follow.  If no one sees another person doing it right at the moment it will take a bolder person to start the cycle again.

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Written by marycoreymarch

June 12, 2010 at 8:27 am

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