Timelessness Of Art / Comedy Manifesto Part 1

In “A Profession Of Faith” from “The Book Of Embraces”, Eduardo Galeano says, “One can always find contemporaries anywhere in time, and compatriots anywhere in space. And wherever this happens, and for as long as it lasts, one is lucky to feel one is something in the infinite loneliness of the universe…”

I often find myself feeling intense connections with people- particularly artists- of the past. People who have expressed something that hit me in a place deep inside, a place I thought was dead, or didn’t exist at all, and suddenly it’s there, revived and alive, and ready to be healed. One particularly strong example is Janis Joplin, who through her highly emotive music, allowed me to access emotions within myself I had never let myself get to, because prior to her influence, I had not allowed myself to feel any emotion (if I had any say in the matter).

When experiencing these connections, I’d ponder their intensity and fancy that I was that person in a past life, or else was close to that person, something. Upon reading Galeano’s piece about timeless contemporaries, I realize that that’s just what it is. These people are my contemporaries. It reinforces the idea of timelessness, of history being one with the present, of being viewed through the present and in relation to the present. Of finding your place in the present (and perhaps the future) because like-minded people found themselves and had their place in the past (their present).

The timelessness of art. It’s timeless in a way. And dated in a way that all thing are dated. And timeless in a way all dated things are timeless in a way. Know what I mean? Like a time capsule, the more things are different, the more you can relate to them. Because human evolution is cyclical. And thus, constantly reminiscent of times past. In my theatre class, we are striving to create something that represents the present. Therefore, it is something that could be viewed for all eternity as representation of the present- of THAT present. Of the future’s past. Of the future looking back upon a present which once was and will be again. In some form or another.

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This week, because of the personal/political endeavors we’ve been attacking in my theatre class, I’ve been thinking a lot about the subjectivity of art: how it’s often very challenging to make a political point or inspire social change through something as subjective as theater/dance/performance. I wondered that, if experience (and thus expression) are viewed subjectively, how does that inspire social change? Rather- how can we be sure our point will get across? Does it even matter, necessarily, if it does? But then, if it doesn’t, what’s the point? That’s why I keep coming back to comedy. Because it’s political/social even if there isn’t a specific political agenda/purpose.

Laughter as a unifying force. A force to be reckoned with! The masses are coming together. A revolution, you ask? No! For they are too busy laughing! Laughing with one another. Laughing with their loved ones and neighbors. Laughing with people they’ve never met before. Different people, laughing together, laughing differently. Laughing at the same things- laughing for different reasons? Doesn’t matter. Reason takes power away from laughter! Chaos and emotion and insanity FEED laughter. Anti-reason feeds laughter. Revealing the ridiculousness of reason feeds laughter.

Political and social and- heck- GLOBAL change on an individual level. Start (and end) with the individual. Empower the individual to see the absurdity of every-day life. Allow the individual to laugh at those in power- hence taking away power from said those in power. Seriousness feeds pre-established power. Laughter deconstructs! Laughter engages. Laughter forces questions. Laughter disillusions (in a good way!). Laughter… is liberating. Laughter fills the belly with food for the soul. Laughter alleviates pretty much anything bad. Laughter invites love. Laughter IS love. Laughter invites life. Laughter IS life.

Laughter brings together people who might not otherwise be brought.

What do you get when you cross a penis with a potato?

A dictator.

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