48"h x 20"l x 16"w; 1999
Photos by Kendrick Moholt
There is no escaping the fact that we live our lives within cultures that have been largely dictated by societies that existed before our own time. Each of us gets a chance to put in our two bits worth, and sometimes, with some effort and maybe some luck, we make a little room for a new thought or way of expression, or a new way of living our lives. Sometimes we just follow the guidelines given us without the least little squawk of
self determination. Most of the push on societal boundaries is done by the young and it's probably fair to say that most often, that expression is not so very original, and or particularly ground shaking, but this expression is the property of each of us as we come of age, and make what we will of ourselves.
With my piece, "Marionette", I am playing with the idea that there is often room within our confines for expression, and a dignified way to define our own direction. The body is not the complete self. There is work to be done. I believe we can be our own puppeteers, orchestrate our own show if we learn how to direct our energy. Often as not, the things that constrain us are things of our own making. Sometimes they are the result of complacency, and sometimes our constraints are oppressive cultural constructs, that to be free of, will require
a certain amount of confrontation. Self determination is a goal, but certainly not a given. Freedom is never absolute, and is never permanently won. It is more an ideal that we strive for, and even at its best, a structure we live within.
I think it is important to control what we can, while respecting that we don’t all agree on an ideal human condition. We should pick our battles. If we want respect, we should do
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something respectable, and we should respect others while we are doing it. We are at our best when we remember the efforts of those who came before us, and exercise grace as we seek change.