Today I learnt I was using a word completely out of context and in realising the true meaning of the word, I was guided to everything I needed to know. The word was ‘transgression’, it means a number of things; a sin or an act against the biblical ten commandments, a crime or illegal act, a transgression from the ‘norm’ of social behaviour, or a flood above the water line. Looking at this word from an artistic point of view, we can look at self sacrifice, passion, bearing or expressing the pain of our souls and many other fascinating concepts.
Interestingly, the journey in to looking at this word, came after I had a tense moment with a friend and my energy level rose, above the ‘flood mark’ I turned to her and said ‘I know I am fucking right’. She then kicked me out of her flat, said my language was foul and she vowed to never speak to me again, her forever normally averages on two months. So I experienced the full force of her greatest pain, in disconnection and inner self sacrifice. She was expressing and sharing her experience of the most intimate moment of ‘transgression’ she had suffered. An expression of when her life went into a place in which ‘socially’ was considered over the boundaries of acceptable behaviour, her actions were unconsciously fuelled by a very painful memory.
I told her I will always love her and I pointed out I saw freedom of expression in communication as a value and important in the expression of my own inner truth, however when over the ‘flood gates’ of space and reason, experience can bring expression of the shadow side of myself. So we were expressing through our shadows, a great formula in to disconnection.
Having been released from the relationship, I was catalysed into introspection, I only disconnect or ‘abandon’ relationships, if a person is seriously harming me or ‘stalking’ me. As ‘Life’s’ way is to bring everything to your door, the next day I received two email messages and one text from a really annoying ‘sexual harasser’, who had been hounding me for a number of years. In an effort to clear my pain and bring my point to light, I phoned the police and explained the background and was asked to make a statement.
At the police station, I explained that in 2006, I was invited to show outside Rome for a project with a group of artists, the title of the project was called ‘Gender’. I explained how two life models contacted me and a young man came forward and I developed artistic involvement with all of them. I had put an advert in ‘Time out’ asking for people that wanted to explore the topic of ‘Gender’, the police officer questioned what ‘Time Out’ was, I explained, he wrote nearly five pages of my ‘statement’ and then took a deep breath as if ready to conclude. ‘So you did a project on ‘Genitalia’, you had to laugh, it was amusing. The lovely policemen’s face became beetroot. However, he composed himself back into being ‘on duty’ and two days later the life model was issued with a warning for sexual harassment after six years of sending me messages, all of a highly sexual nature. There was another participant of this project that also became a problem as he phoned me four times a day, for nearly two years, often with a video phone, he to was given a warning for harassment three years ago. So that particular project was a great learning curb.
On the Monday of this week I was invited by an organiser of a large art festival to come and talk through my perspective and possible proposal in to the show, the meeting took place at the Royal Festival Hall. I haven’t been in an interview environment, or dynamic for years and was surprised when I found myself in this situation and his first question was, ‘What do I need to know about you?’ second question was, ‘Where to you see yourself in five years?’ I began to loose him as I had explored the topic of ‘Asking the right questions’ from a philosophical point of view, ten years ago and even more acutely and academically, six months ago, I worked on a radio show in this vain. To be asked interview type questions, felt ‘artistically naïve conversation’. I tried to put on a grin and use ‘warm language’ and guide the questioning, ‘My life doesn’t work like that, it unravels on its own’, ‘All my work is equally important, from writing, healing, painting, film, song writing and communications’, he then asked ‘Do you have any role models’, I grin as I remind myself of the importance of finding your own inner guru, and the independence from role models, I proudly say, I guess there is one, this was really a peace offering, so as not to challenge him with a negative. He went on, ‘What is the nature of your work?’ I talked about magic, consciousness, dynamics, interaction, colour, catalysts, senses and playing with the dynamics of life, touched on voyeurism as it was in my head due to the Gender project. ‘Brilliant’ he said, ‘Lets explore stalking’, ‘Ahh, I said, stalking is stalking, men are just as insecure as women, can we not?‘
I felt unable to divulge all the dark information of my time at the police station prior, the life model in question was in an art project relationship with me over the exploration of the ‘artist’s muse’ and ‘the female gaze and voyeurism’, the projects went well but the aftermath exit strategy was impossible to execute without the help of the police. My lesson was that the artist/muse relationship should simply be the artist/life model relationship as the dynamics in any other framework cannot progress to a level of equality. If you look at the history of these relationships every women or ‘muse’ trapped in that dynamic suffers great pain in the sacrifice of their ‘love’ to their master or ‘artist’ love.
At the Royal Festival, I was taking deep breaths as the Creative Director I was meeting, started to question where I lived, I tried to explain, ‘I like truth and find nature authentic, so I choose to add an accent of beauty to my life, my art studio and home is out of London, although I stay in London a lot, I am here three to four days a week’, I wait for the feeling of a crash as he evaluates if I can be a serious artist with my art studio outside London, I pull back, ‘my creative endeavours and consultancy is based in London, London is a place for growth, development and newness’. So thinking I have totally ‘transgressed’ or ‘violated’ the ‘normal‘ pathways of artistic merit, I gather my things ready to leave, nodding to myself, to the irony of constantly being in a place inconsistent to artistic ‘lifestyle’ and ‘artworld’ activity, to which others must find uncomfortable.
His maturity shines through, he turns and says, ‘The chat was ‘stimulating’’, I breath a sigh of relief as he invites me to meet me at the Art Festival for further ‘curatorial’ debate and to show my art.
Amanda McGregor 12/1/2011