Unreal Nature

November 30, 2012

In a Lifetime

Filed under: Uncategorized — unrealnature @ 5:40 am

… Perhaps I’m no match for it. I am a match that would like to ignite without being consumed.

This is from Essential Brakhage : Selected Writings on Filmmaking by Stan Brakhage edited by Bruce R. McPherson (2001). Today’s excerpts are from ‘Make Place for the Artist’ first published in 1982:

This is to introduce myself. I am young and I believe in magic. I am learning how to cast spells. My profession is transforming. I am what is known as an “artist.” Three years ago I made a discovery which caused me dis-ease at the time: neither the society in which I had grown up nor my society at that moment, my college, knew what to do with me. They were wary of me.

I, suddenly without inheritance, began a three year adventure to seek the fortune of myself. This information is for professors wondering over an age of introspective art. Some say that no one has ever known what to do with the artist until after he is dead. Then his body is disposed of and his life works are buried in museums and libraries and, sometimes, in men’s minds.

As over half of the culture professors of this and every college campus earn their living from picking the bones of the dead, it is hoped they will be interested in the flesh of their future.

… I am presenting it in writing for someone else’s future. Someone may someday realize that the living artist has the eyes of the age he lives in. They may understand that he makes his magic for the moment. Who knows? Here’s what to do:

Make a place for the artist. Do it now. For you, as well as him, tomorrow is too late. First must come understanding, not of the work but of the worker. Give him the right conditions. Here are the conditions. This breed requires freedom. Cages kill him. Restrictions constrict. This animal is forever at war with his own limitations by nature.

… Perhaps I’m no match for it. I am a match that would like to ignite without being consumed.

… I was, and am, alive with more curiosity than it would be possible for any man to satisfy in a lifetime.

My most recent previous post from Brakhage’s book is here.



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