The last week or so I’ve been a bit distracted by what was an unexpected and very timely offer to jump on a plane and return to Adelaide, this time to teach yoga. That it’s only one class a week and I said yes without a second thought (mouth moves before brain) I think is a clear indication of my frustration with Melbourne, my need for … I guess to say, newness or something to stimulate me in ways I don’t get here.
The impending stratospheric jump of desperation has had me stumble through a couple of nightmares loaded with ominous symbolism and metaphors of catastrophe and doom. Lucky then I have mostly contempt for surrealist allusions, though much chocolate has been eaten.
Since returning from China last year, and thanks to Amanda having my entrée to South Australia, subsequently causing me to fly back and forth quite a few times, each time the return to Melbourne has been a disappointment. I’ve been here too long.
Really, I only came here to study, and haven’t spent much time in the city since graduating, though there has been a … I guess desire to make something happen and here – because of my already history of making performance – seemed like a good place. But … same same same. Realistically it’s not going to happen here. I’m not going to have my own tanztheater company with a small ensemble spending much of each year making more of the same. I’m not going to get employed as a dancer; that I think, would have happened here by now if it was to happen at all. I’m not going to get any more challenged or experience the sublime transcendence of working with someone who gives me a feeling of being home or do class with someone who just makes me giddy with joy in moving simply because with the occasional exception of visiting artists, I’ve been around the scene here since I was a student.
I’ve been sarcastically joking I’m in a mid-career slump, having passed the five-year cut-off for ’emerging artists’, but it’s more like stagnation. Talking to friends in Europe who are about the same point in their art as me and the amazing things they are doing, the act of desperation I described is, while practically so in that I am terrifyingly poor, also one of … saving myself.
I don’t want to do anything else but dance and make performance and the older I get the more this feeling gains strength, and to stay here in Melbourne … I can see myself not too distant being a bitter middle-aged artist, failed in having achieved what I desired, and I make art – however doom-ful, satanic, pornographic and otherwise affronting – because I need to, and like eating, it provides immense satisfaction. To be bitter, resentful, unhappy and unfulfilled in making art is I think to endure damnation.
It’s possible one or two of the innumerable applications I put in earlier this year will see me return temporarily to Melbourne some time after June, but it’s as likely (perhaps even more) I’ll do some stuff in Adelaide then grace several of my favourite airports on my return to Europe. I’d like to be back for summer in Zürich or …
I’m also rather excited. New things. New people. Art. Stuff. (Airports). (Food). Like the current pull the gravity of Berlin is exerting upon me, so has Adelaide and my friends there been slowly pulling me into orbit. It’s a temporary stop before going home to … somewhere in Europe, preferably German speaking, but one I’m looking forward to very much, both for making art and for the other bits of my life. Yes, I am really looking forward to seeing you again in Adelaide tonight, tomorrow, this weekend.