Something About Balance and Teacups
I want to say something today about balance. About teacups. About precariousness and about being angry. About the truth being balanced and unbalanced. I want to say something about making art, and about the ongoing remarkable and breathtaking persistence of beauty in this world. For I insist that the world continues to be beautiful.
“The truth is balance. However the opposite of truth, which is unbalance, may not be a lie.”
– Susan Sontag
Next, let’s have these words sink into us:
“I am not fearless. I am terrified but I write anyway. I pretend no one is going to read my words and I try to make sense of this world that is so breathtaking and beautiful and complicated and hideous.”
– Roxane Gay
And then how about this:
“You should be angry. You must not be bitter. Bitterness is like cancer. It eats upon the host. It doesn’t do anything to the object of its displeasure. So use that anger. You write it. You paint it. You dance it. You march it. You vote it. You do everything about it. You talk it. Never stop talking it.”
– Maya Angelou
I would like to get my equilibrium back. I would like to feel as though things were in balance. That there was some sense that truth would make a difference.
Perhaps it was feeling all this, and feeling as though something invisible but vital and necessary had collapsed, I took out my teacup collection and began stacking them as high as I could. But at about 8 cups, my stack began to teeter. I did what many still life artists before me have done, which is, get out the scotch tape. (Poster putty would have also been useful, but I had none). I improvised. I created balance where there was none. Because sometimes the illusion of balance, is still balance. It could be achieved.
I’m still angry, but Maya Angelou is right. No point in bitterness.
And then, when I was putting this post together, the universe drew me to the work of Ottawa artist, Cheryl Pagurek, who is projecting news imagery into teacups, and wow. Right? Here is the description of her video which you can see below in your browser or here if you’re reading the newsletter format:
“Yellow tea cup: refugees at sea records contemporary news footage projected into my immigrant grandmother’s vintage tea cup. The cup becomes a window onto the world, bringing world events closer to home, while evoking the tensions and intersections between private and public, past and present, order and chaos. The contextualizing frame of the tea cup acknowledges the filter of individual experience through which our perceptions are shaped, as we try to comprehend the human dimension of reported events.”