Showing posts from August, 2014

Dublin Biennial vs Florence Biennale score: 7 : 5

In the second Dublin Biennial I was one of over 50 artists from 20 countries, compared to 450 artists from over 50 countries in the humongous 2013 Florence Biennale.  
Dublin was much more intimate, with activities focused upon the artists and ideas, and less on the event administrator, judges and awards.  The panel discussions also seemed better at Dublin.  This may be simply due to language:  In Italy almost all of the speeches, talks and discussions were solely in Italian, with no translators.  Plus, I gave a short talk and was a panel member in Dublin (i.e. a little biased) and the smaller audiences fostered more informal panel audience conversations. 
Dublin: 1, Florence: 0.

Two months ago, in June, it was sunny and warm in Ireland.  (Contrast to a wet and cold visit two decades ago when we cycled and free camped the length of the country-you have no idea how nice the first hot shower in Scotland felt!). 
Italy in December 2013 was bitterly cold and damp.  
Dublin: 2,  Florence: 0…

Crazy Creatives?

Vincent van Gogh, Self portrait with bandaged ear. 1889
I'm not convinced that great art requires madness, or, if you'll feeling crazy, then you will automatically become a great artist.

Both Aristotle and Shakespeare have the archetype of the mad genius.  Since then many have reinforced this idea, so it has now become a stereotype.

According to Nancy Andreasen, a psychiatrist and neuroscientist who has studied creativity for many decades:

"One possible contributory factor is a personality style shared by many of my creative subjects. 

These subjects are adventuresome and exploratory. 

They take risks. 

Particularly in science, the best work tends to occur in new frontiers. 

(As a popular saying among scientists goes: “When you work at the cutting edge, you are likely to bleed.”) 

They have to confront doubt and rejection. 

And yet they have to persist in spite of that, because they believe strongly in the value of what they do. 

This can lead to psychic pain, which may manifest…