For me there are two levels of obsession in my life. Primary and secondary.
Primary is held for my love Kelly, her kids Thea and Liam and my inner circle of friends. These are more constants than obsessions but by my definition they are still obsessions.
Secondary obsessions are ever changing. To me, one of the main points of life is to engage with it. It’s an inconceivable tapestry of ways, points of view, offerings and unknowns. I had the great fortune at a relatively young age to learn that life is either something to piss away, assume or actively live. Guess which one I am.
I could continue with this high minded blah blah blah but instead I’d just rather talk about my newest (secondary) obsession. He being Robert Wilson.
Readers of this prattle will recognize him as the co-collaborator of Einstein on the Beach (which we saw) and author of The Life and Death of Maria Abramović (which we will see) but like most obsessions I have they become so because the thing in question consistently gives its version of love to me. So goes Mr. Wilson.
Instead of me trying to describe him and his life of art I suggest either renting or streaming on Netflix the documentary ‘Absolute Wilson.’ Unlike other works about artists this one involves him though his direct contribution.
I will say, if any one artist embodies the backward views America has about art and its relevance on a basic life living level it’s Wilson.
Born in Waco Texas and known as one of the defining voices of the “downtown” aesthetic of New York beginning in the 1960s and continuing today he has had to create and mount the vast majority of his work in Europe and not his homeland. It is well known how countries such as France and Germany (to name two) actively and socially support the arts as a fundamental tenet of life. The most egregious example of being dissed by your own was 1984 when he was selected as the host artist by Peter Ueberroth and the Los Angeles Olympics committee to create a representational piece reflecting the Olympic spirit. The work ‘CIVIL WarS, a tree is best measured when it is down’ was to be performed in 5 different countries and culminate with a 12 hour performance to open the games.
After coordinating the work across two continents the piece was cancelled three weeks prior to its finish because funding was $1.2 million short. Oh, by the way, Uberroth and group came away afterwards with a surplus of $150 million.
This could have been the piece that, in a sense, welcomed home a native son but instead only affirmed the vanilla tastes of a safe and profit driven nation concerned only with the bottom line.
So, there you go. Obsession defined. Please stop again some time down the line to hear my newest one.