Intermission and Reflections

July 2012

I doubt anyone will take the time to read my diary of interviews and experiences in Yangon. I admit it was not very professional. I did purchase a voice recorder but it felt so impersonal and almost invasive to use such a thing with these artists – who invited me into their homes to eat at their tables. Because I am a journal-keeper (and have been since I was 12), it was the best way for me to record my findings and react to them. I’m very happy I did so, because I was able to keep intact the emotional feeling I had toward these artists and their work. As I get older, more and more people tell me it is best “not to be so emotional.” I find that a tragedy. Leave the science of it all to the historians. I attempt to contribute to a living contemporary art history and I refuse to do so without that emotional give and take one feels in conversation and human interaction. Though it would be nice to video record the artists one day…documentary in my future? One can dream…

After the last post, one can see I start to develop a story. I am consciously connecting the past to the present. With the only archives being those in the British Council, the American Center and the NIU library in DeKalb, Illinois, resources were scarce. In order to find the connective tissue, I attempted to bring out what I read in books to what I spoke of with the artists. Many disagreed. But I continued on because the propensity for performance art was far too intriguing.

I found this scrap of paper last week, buried in an old notebook, where I scribbled the following:

how is performance art in transition?
includes technology, interaction, boundaries, confusion, 
Myanmar performance artists have an opportunity to define their own transition through action. what will that mean, especially with or without restrictions?

what does the world expect from Burmese art?
the world will take representations…

Now that Myanmar has opened it self up to international commercial enterprise, there is not a doubt in my mind that the contemporary art and its influence will make a difference in the way the world perceives Myanmar. But how to explain it all? That’s what I’m doing here…casually publishing every note I’ve ever made on the matter, for no other purpose than my own interest in the subject and to see it all in one place. Enjoy.

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