posted by laurabecker
i think i’ve been posting this same recommendation for the past three years, but in case you need it again – go to tba’s noontime chats! (meaning 12:30 in most cases) they’re where it’s at people! some of my most inspiring and heartfelt experiences from the festival are from these discussions – catching a truly intimate glimpse into a headlining artist, watching the excitement from cross-pollination of ideas among the panel, really feeling a part of the kindred spirit in the room.
yesterday’s panel with matthew day jackson and sutapa biswas reinforced a lot of the political feelings i’ve been having and expressing about the festival. matt seems to be around my age, and the way he talked about the state of things in the world currently and what he’s “not” obsessed with in his art truly resonated for me.
today’s panel moderated by david eckard with craig and amanda from stan’s cafe, mk guth from the red shoe delivery service, and a very tardy sam from red 76, focused on the other bookend of this festival for me – notions about “home”. mk referred to the transient idea of home, to literally bringing people home via red shoe’s delivery service and virtually via the travel agency, and sam discussed red 76′s recordings of the sounds people hear as they are leaving their home every day. but to me it’s also a symbolic thread through a lot of this year’s works. the first thing i wrote down during tba this year was david eckard’s quote from float – “how far do i have to go before i am truly on my way back home” – and i’ve recited it in my head several times during my tba experiences since then.
one of david’s questions was how the artists evaluate the success of their projects and for mk and amanda, intimacy was a big factor – people feeling “at home” enough within an art experience to participate with a presenter, to share private thoughts, to open themselves up to the art. deborah hay’s “room” was all about intimacy to me, same for how sutapa described her work. and oh yeah, edie tsong is literally working from home.
i doubt this reaction is unique to this festival, but it’s kind of interesting to me that the more jostled i feel by the political aspects, the more comfy i feel by the intimate ones. the artists today talked about the risks they take when they ask the public to act as collaborators and performers in their work. when they invite us in, they’re taking “a leap of faith” that we’ll take them up on their offer and return the hospitality by taking the experience with us when we leave. i’m so eager to return the hospitality, i just wish i never had to leave in the first place.