Today marks Day 4 of Culturistan, and the schedule today was quite different than any other day. We started the day by reading a poem called “Life While You Wait”. The poet talks about his wish to be able to rehearse before the performance of a day but that he has no choice but to live in the present moment. He touches on the aspect that life is not a dress rehearsal, but instead the live premiere, which captures all of our mistakes and lessons. We talked about whether we wear masks and costumes, whether we’re aware or unaware, in all aspects of our life. I believe this to be true, as each moment requires some amplifying or dimming aspects of ourselves. The human mind has limitations as we’re always primed to survive at our lowest common denominator, and being on the outside of a group creates feelings of fear and even death, so our survival mechanism is to use the part of us that is required to survive in a group.
Later in the day, we met the French cartoonist Jul, who was incredibly interesting and funny. He directed us to perform a few minutes of the play Antigone using satire, and it was a lot of fun to experiment with this form of art. It’s not often that we are required to use play in our work, as playfulness hasn’t been rewarded for much of my career as it implies a lack of seriousness. I plan to bring this layer of playfulness and laughter to my work when I’m back in the United States.