I Do Not Share Your Values
There are many layers happening here.
But the one that seems most striking (and the photographer knew exactly what he was doing) is the layer between what is happening out the window, at the same time the dance unfolded in the room.
I made sure the photographer got both stories. Otherwise, the photographer, who is fourteen, would never have seen the drama outside the window which you, the audience of the video, not the dance, hardly knew was there.
Because what men do with their bodies is usually ordinary and we do not always see the ordinary.
Outside, boys were playing football.
Inside was another take on what is male entirely.
As a species, we are extremely diverse, if violent.
We come in all kinds of wrappings. White culture only tolerates a few of them as correct packages.
As a species, we are intransigent.
We see what we want to see.
Even if the people on the le Medium want me — personally, all dance is personal, all film is personal, all writing is personal — even as they read me to be something I’m not.
I am not the do-gooder you want.
I deny that box. Power.
Whose fault is that. That we are so different. You and I.
If I had been the choreographer, there would have been no dance.
Because I would have choreographed a different dance. And the boys would have quit trying. They didn’t work at it hard enough. They did not transcend themselves.
And that is the job of art. All art. To transcend. Itself.
Otherwise it’s arts and crafts. It’s making baskets and pottery.
It’s not about the dancers. Open your eyes. It’s about the photographer. It’s about what the fourteen-year-old saw. It’s about what he felt. Through the tool of the camera.
The transcendence of the dancers never left the layer where they were touching but extraordinarily fearful of doing so. They never embraced it. They never explored it. As individuals they never really touched another human being.
They failed, and so did their high school teacher.
I am told you can’t get too serious in high school.
It is a lie.
They simply followed the direction and went through the motions.
Kinda like football.
I would have worked them to within an inch of their lives.
They would be thinner and more muscular because to dance my dance, they would have had to sweat.
And at the end, they are very pleased with themselves.
The dancers should convey to the audience their guts that they are never really quite sure of what is going on. Nevertheless, they move forward. Not really knowing if they have connected to anything let alone themselves. It’s N-O-T about finding yourself. That idea is bullshit.
It’s about transcending the idea of the self. To connect whatever fragments might be there. Even if all you are is emptiness and dust.
All we are as individuals trying to connect are vastly disconnected fragments. All we are is broken. All we are is illusion.
What did I transcend to learn from this dance.
I am not a do-gooder. Throw all your little boxes away. They are superfluous. They do not fit.
If you can. I would vomit in them.
We both know, you cannot. Do this. Any more than you can live out of one bag.
You are more than mommies. You are more than the software you design. You are more than high school students. You are more than a teacher. You are more than a Facebook friend.
You are more than the sum of all your parts. You are more than the standard-bearer of a morality that denies individuality even if you do not agree with an individual’s right to be more than the self that individual is.
You are more than someone who cannot embrace the confused, the pathetic, the self-defeating, and the mad.
You have no right to demand that someone else fits the lining of the boxes you have embraced.
Because you gotta have shit, and it’s the shit that defines you.
You are more than your stuff.
I so wished I believed that last one.
I don’t believe it.
You ARE your stuff. Your stuff says this is you.
Until it doesn’t.
I do not share your values, they are parochial, and I refuse to share any of your fragments whatsoever.
Your values are completely foreign to me. I do not want to embrace you. I do not need to be touched (I find it creepy).
What I need is to be left alone.
It’s in that space that visions come to me. Alone. I see you. You scare me.
I cannot be the person that you want.
That is what I see in the dance that was not a dance. It was simply another kind of football game.
Real Stories Gallery Foundation, RSG, Smash Street, Smash Street Boys, HIV/AIDS, Show Me Your Life, VideoArt …real-stories-gallery.org