Risky Risque: Suffering for Art

Many hold with a romantic notion that one should suffer for one’s art.
Master_Nick-Roberts-UberBotI suspect that this view has more to do with a powerful few wanting the working masses to be content in suffering than with any love of the arts. The underlying implication is that one shouldn’t expect to be compensated for one’s pains.

I do love the arts. My creative colleagues and I do take great literal pains for your entertainment.

Here’s an example.

Last night, UBERKUNST headlined day two of this year’s NorCal NoiseFest. After a particularly risque start (which involved the removal of my trousers, followed by other wild displays which I may detail in some future post,) we went to work more or less rhythmically destroying the drawers of a filing cabinet. For my part, there’s something cathartic in that work, ’cause seriously screw this culture’s obsessive demand for invasive paperwork, sucking up the energy of the little guy who lacks the means to delegate the drudgery. To quote The Prisoner, “I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed or numbered!”

Ah, but it’s not all fun and catharsis. The filing cabinet does not go easily.

Master_Nick-leg-uberkunstThere I am in my black cloth drawers, taking up metal drawers to bang them into other metal drawers. That’s just how metal I am. The metal fought back, slicing into five of my fingertips and scratching up my leg in about twenty places.

Here’s a picture of my damaged flesh. Though pale and utterly without muscle tone as I spend most of my time sitting at either the easel or word processor Control yourselves, ladies. I’m taken ’tis clear that I still put in a bloody effort!

Somehow, I’m scarcely ever aware of these various injuries when they happen. Perhaps the adrenalin that comes with ignoring my own stage fright temporarily overrides the pain. Yet inevitably the show draws to a close, and my nerve endings remind me that overdid it yet again.

I am not alone in this. Other performers came away with similar pains of varying severity.

Whether with the debilitating cramps that come from working with one’s hands whilst painting, drawing or writing, or other bodily harm from performance, we artists do suffer for our art. Here is photographic evidence that artwork is work, and thus well worthy of compensation.

If you don’t like that idea, you can just file it up in your drawers.
Sideways.

Nick Roberts © 2014

P.S.
You are cordially invited to receive updates on exhibitions, performances, publications and more!
https://twitter.com/MasterNickCom

For twisted fiction, acquire a copy of “Gonzombie and Other Dark Tales”
http://tinyurl.com/gonzombie

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