*an ongoing series of quotations – mostly from artists, to artists – that offers wisdom, inspiration, and advice for the sometimes lonely road we are on.
I learned about the Japanese word irimi while studying Aikido, a Japanese martial art. Simply translated, irimi means ,’to enter’ but it can also be translated ‘choose death.’ When attacked you always have two options: to enter, irimi, or to go around, ura. Both when accomplished in the right manner, are creative. To enter or to ‘choose death’ means to enter fully with the acceptance, if necessary, of death. The only way to win is to risk everything and be fully willing to die. If this is an extreme notion to Occidental sensibilities, it does make sense in creative practice. To achieve the violence of decisiveness, one has to ‘choose death’ in the moment by acting fully and intuitively without pausing for reflection about whether it is the right decision or if it is going to provide the winning solution.
It is also valuable to know when to use ura, or going around. There is a time for ura, going around, and there is a time for irimi, entering. And these times can never be known in advance. You must sense the situation and act immediately. In the heat of creation, there is no time for reflection; there is only connection to what is happening. The analysis, the reflection and the criticism belong before and after, never during, the creative act.
Anne Bogart in “A Director Prepares: Seven Essays on Art and Theater”
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* Favorite travel photos that have not yet appeared in this blog
Because reminiscing while looking through old photographs is one of the few ‘travel’ options open to Americans now… sigh!
Comments are welcome!
* an ongoing series of quotations – mostly from artists, to artists – that offers wisdom, inspiration, and advice for the sometimes lonely road we are on.
Current possibilities far exceed any single artist’s capacity to engage them. Indeed, every known way of making art ever undertaken in all of history is included in today’s inventory of creative options. Thus, choices must be made. This has had a profound effect upon the quantity and diversity of skills needed to become an artist today. In addition to such conventional forms of artistic talent as visual acuity, manual dexterity, sensitivity, intelligence, ingenuity, and perseverance, contemporary artists must also be able to make judicious choices from a limitless inventory of alternatives. A decisive aspect of the creative act involves choosing a place amid possibilities that are as bountiful as they are eclectic and chaotic. Even this process entail choices. In staking the territory they wish to occupy, artists may be gluttons or ascetics, connoisseurs or commoners. Relationships between artists and their career choices may be lifelong and monogamous, or sequentially monogamous, polygamous, or promiscuous. But artists’ options even exceed selecting precedents. Free access to the past is amplified by freedom to augment the catalogue of creative options by contributing something new.
In the Making: Creative Options for Contemporary Art by Linda Weintraub
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