Last night was the culmination of a long project spearheaded by Courtney and Nina to get the Spiderweb Salon crew in the Dallas Museum of Art. The installation is in the C3 section of the museum and is made up of three phones that have been rigged to play pieces by 50 artists, myself included, that respond to work that is in the permanent collection and it will be there until January. Beyond the fact that a ragtag bunch of artists from around the Metroplex, primarily from around the Denton area, have work exhibited in one of the major art institutions in the Texas, it was the culmination of my last few years of self realization and reflection.
Going back to late May when my world was falling apart, I wrote a piece in reaction to a piece called Portrait of My Mother by Philip Evergood. I’ve posted the text of the poem I wrote, the first in over 15 years, on here before, I’ll post a link to the audio here.
I wrote this piece the night after the Spiderweb show where I really realized things needed to be over for me to continue moving forward as a healthy adult and was written mostly in one sitting, the first lines were started in The Blanton Museum on the UT campus earlier in the month. Over the years, I had been coming to some kind of peace about the way that my own relationship with my mother had fallen apart over years of all sorts of misunderstandings about mental illness, my own propensity towards what I called “the artists temperament” and being in a relationship where I felt like I wasn’t seen but also where I had a very real sense of responsibility and a desire to make it work without any regard to myself. What I couldn’t see at the time of writing was the situational nature of my own depression, when I finally made the decision and after a few months of letting things work through my system was that I wasn’t becoming my mother, I was making a different choice because I could.
I’ve only performed this piece three times, twice for recording purposes and once live, and every time I think I am ready to view this as a piece of work rather than a cry for help or a confession of my self or a eulogy for a relationship that stopped existing years ago. Last night at the DMA, I was dressed fancy (for me) and Erica did a little makeup so I could sparkle and when I got up to perform in the gallery in front of the largest crowd the DMA has ever had at a C3 opening, I was mostly ok. I didn’t my voice didn’t waver but there was one moment towards the end where my emotions started creeping in. I didn’t break and I haven’t broken. I’m making it.
Now that this show has been installed, I’m happy to say that I’m in the best place I can be right now and even though I’m crazy busy this weekend, at some point I’ll have a chance to celebrate what is a once in a lifetime thing and the community that made it happen. I’ll be conferencing today in Dallas and timing a race in Callisburg tomorrow but Sunday I’ll find more time to reflect.