There are days when I am full of questions, nothing but questions. These days challenge my type-A personality.
I read a lot on these days, subconsciously looking for answers or a grain of truth that will set my mind on fire. Answers rarely come. The more information I take in, the more questions I have and the forest fire burns out of control.
Hyperallergic’s entry on “Occupy Museum” and the insightful questions he asks spark an onslaught of questions within me. Hyperallergic asks:
“Who gets to decide what goes into a museum of the 99%?
“Those who go the DIY approach often get ignored by others, not because of conspiracy, but because of the acceptance so much of the art world wants from those higher up on the art world food chain.
“If we’re going to change the way museums do things then we have to find them an alternate mode of funding.”
These are valid concerns and are especially relevant because Baang and Burne Contemporary is created with the desire to change the current paradigm. Our fall season, 6×6, was funded by the grassroots effort of Kickstarter (of which I am extremely proud) yet I felt nothing but elation the day we were mentioned in The New York Times.
Counterculture has had a long history of being consumed by the system and then celebrated by it. The theory of permeate revolution is predicated on the notion that there will also be a permeate counter-revolution. It won’t be long before we fall into the path of all countercultures and become the institution. What would we do with ourselves then? How do you maintain your street cred when you eventually become the institution? Maybe this paradigm shift needs to be even broader in scope. It can’t be opposing sides of counter culture and the institution. Maybe it can’t be a love or hate , us and them.
Then I circle back around and ask myself this question, “Does it matter? Does it matter how one gets labeled? Does it matter what side of this invisible dividing line you are standing on? Why do we continue to construct the argument as an US vs THEM?”
A shift from the current paradigm is what we all want. Irrespective to the lack of focus and specificity the Occupy Wall Street Protest has, and the various branches such as Occupy Museum, the undercurrent of dissatisfaction is unmistakable. The solution-centered problem solver in me wants Occupy Wall Street to have a focus, a list of demands, a solution. Yet over drinks, a friends pointed out the fact that without a list of demands, by simply being upset, Occupy Wall Street becomes a force the institution does not know how to handle. After all, the system has gotten very good at ignoring demands. But by simply being upset and outraged on so many different levels, the system fails to come up with any kind of response.
Will occupation lead to liberation? Or will the permeate revolution scenario be more true? Will occupation and liberation being the cyclical forces that will spiral us forward into a new world order of some sort?
I wrestle with these questions and I struggle to put out the fire with any kind of conclusion. Then I am reminded of this quote:
“… I would like to beg you dear Sir, as well as I can, to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.” –Rainer Maria Rilke
Maybe Occupy Wall Street, you, me and life at large does not need answers. Maybe we just need to live with the questions.
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Just checking does Rilke says “live the questions now” ? as you say “live with the questions”.> 2 different meanings.
Thank you, Charrlote