The Abysmal Life of Crayon

Experience the joys in the life of jaded Sydney-siders Crayon and Jamin-kun.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Art and Crazy People

Went to the Art Gallery today, and saw something that really made me think, something that I am afraid Art today does not do often.

The Sydney Biennal Festival is on, and the Sydney Museum of Modern Art had an exhibition. Usually I find their stuff too stifling, too cool, too meaningless and abstract.

Today, I went in on my lunch break, desperate for a bit of beauty and sadness to ease the fickleness of the day.

Went to the museum, head down, not wanting to see the world. There was a Video installation, one of those cordonned off areas where they play weird Art Movies and Short Films.

I didn't even read the Introduction that was stuck on the wall before you walk in.
"Surprise me, fuckers." I thought..."Come on. Do your Art. Make me think."

I sat down, between people sitting, standing, people kneeling in the darkness.

There was a woman on the screen writing something on a blackboard. It was her name. Then she went and sat down, and started to speak. She looked crazy, haggard, hair all over the place and weird inflictions in her voice.

It turned out to be a short film called "12 Women and a Marionette" as part of larger work called "La Passion de Joan D'Arc", by an Australian guy, and was set in the Rozelle Mental Hospital near Balmain in Sydney.

When I say it was 'set in the hospital', I mean it actually just went through each of the 12 women from the hospital while they talked about anything.

It was so so heart breaking, they were so alienated, all of them had some kind of mental illness, all of them had some kind of terrible life, all of them were just beautiful once you listened to what they had to say.

These are the type of people that you see living on the street, and while you might feel sorry for them, you don't really understand them, or think them 'beautiful', or even see them as human beings.

I could feel myself wishing, as I watched, that I could use magic or something to suddenly make this film come onto every single cinema screen that was playing a Blockbuster across the country; cause every single television tuned to "Who Wants Be a Millionaire" to flick to this film and they stay there all night; and hope that normal people would see these women and perhaps, somehow, understand.

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