Mediums in Crisis
More than 30,000 years ago humans first scrawled images of animals on cave walls. Although we may never know their impetus, it is believed that the first artists were Shamans, responsible for maintaining a fragile balance between the physical and metaphysical worlds of the tribes they served. Humanity was in a precarious state during these early days, always on the verge of being extinguished like the flames that kept them warm at night.
Today, humans are once again on the precipice, perpetually recovering from one self-inflicted crisis after the next. The balance has been lost. The covenant with nature smashed, sold and long forgotten. And the artist, as visionary medium, once capable of healing society, more endangered than ever.
The artist of today needs to start thinking like a Shaman. What is out of balance and what can I do to help my human tribe and the world, of which we are only guests, regain its equilibrium? What is harmony and how do I find it within myself so that I may share it beyond the confines of my heart.
As artists we cannot let our creations and the sweat of our days be nothing more than champagne on the Titanic… The artist must once again don the mask of healer before the winds of karma quiet our spark.
Image: Edward S. Curtis, Library of Congress