March 31, 2014
I woke up this morning with the recording of Glenn Gould’s version of Johan Sebastian Bach’s “Goldberg Variations.” I have the music hooked up to start automatically at 7:00 am every morning, which wakes me up. This is intended to be Gould’s final recording before he passed away, and I always prefer this version than his much earlier one. For me it represents an entire lifetime and it is in this specific recording. As I get older, I have less time for youth and all of its silliness. Often I want to walk around with a hammer and destroy every image of youth that comes upon my eyes. It is a type of psychotic reaction, but it greatly amuses me as well.
They say beauty is only skin deep, but with age, it becomes a connoisseur talent to choose the difference between the pearl and perhaps a coarse stone. Through out my life I always felt my profession was one where I show pearls before swine. Basically this is the job of the curator, and if one has to force a category on oneself, then that is what I am. I take all of you out for a stroll into the woods, and we come back with goodies that I selected for you. In other words, I am sort of the perfect date.
Sergei Diaghilev, was someone who I greatly admire, because he didn’t really do anything, except show taste. Through out his life, he has located the most unique pearls, and presented to an audience. Some hated it, some were transformed, but none were bored. To have vision is a beautiful talent, and sometimes artists cannot do that for themselves. What I do is recognize your talent and make you better. Or not.
Richard Chamberlain, who started off as being an idol on the Dr. Kildare show, which also led him to a series of hit recordings around the early 1960s, became a serious stage actor when he went to London to perform in repertory theater. He’s an example of an artist who created his own career, where if you follow him from Dr. Kildare to teen idol music to Broadway and then eventually Shakespeare. It is obvious he had a strong vision of what he wanted to accomplish, and he did it with the genius of Napoleon planning an attack. It is like he couldn’t wait to do away with his youth.
What I have gained from all of this is to always move forward, and not spend time looking backwards. I greatly admire the films of Nagisa Oshima, because it seems to me he distances himself from his past, to explore his culture in such a way, it is almost like he’s a scientist in a laboratory. All that knowledge one gains from one’s history and others has only one purpose. And that is to go forward and not look back. Orpheus, in mythology, was a figure who used his art to lead others to a better place. He even attempted to lure his wife Eurydice, from the Underworld. He succeeded in bringing her back from death to life. In a way, he was a curator, who transformed life as an on-going adventure. Youth is not aware of the pitfalls or has the vision to conceptualize the need to move on. Youth is looking back, and aging is moving forward.