In Search of A/The Point of Life

Posts Tagged ‘endurance’

PHYSIOLOGY ART, OR AN ATTEMPT TO LINK ART & EXERCISE

Healthy living at Lupus Street, free from dis-ease

Healthy living at Lupus Street: dry and clean from dis-ease

As I mentioned, I will have to run/walk/swim/fly/crawl 155.0km as a pathetic gesture to pay back for my flight Nondon-Zurich-Nondon.

It would be appropriate at this point in time to ask some questions.

WHAT IS THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ART AND EXERCISE? IS THERE A WAY TO ACHIEVE A PERFECT WORK-LEISURE BALANCE? (WHAT IS THE BEST PROPORTION?) CAN I MIX WORK WITH LEISURE? FOR INSTANCE, CAN I FIND THE MEANING OF LIFE IN RUNNING + ART?

How  – if one so wishes to, though to be sure, they can remain ‘separate’, as many of our activities are, although in the larger scheme of things, activities that one engages in are most certainly related in more ways than one and earns one interesting insights should one reflect upon the relationship between them – can one attempt to translate/utilise the mental stamina and pleasure one cultivates / achieves from endurance sports, to art? Or perhaps there is no need to relate one to the other, and take them as parallel, distinct activities that may/happen to have overlapping traits/ goals?

EXAMPLES OF ARTISTS WHO RUN/WALK
Artists in this possible synthesis (artists with art practice that feature/reflect/hint traits of their physical regimes): * Richard Long (serious walker in his land art), * Werner Herzog (another mad walker, and he has directly talked about this in his artwork; at least one documentary has been made about his walking as well; Herzog’s obsessive/punishing/extreme qualities as reflected in his psychotically long walks are also, of course, classic trademarks of his characters and actors in his films, as well as his own personality) * Haruki Murakami (who runs miles daily, and has taken part in marathon and ironmen events, and who discusses the mental discipline he derives from this part of his life that helps him in his clarity in his writing, though endurance sports do not otherwise feature in  his work) *Jun Nguyen Hatsushiba (ongoing marathons in every city to match Earth’s diameter). DO YOU KNOW OF ANY OTHER ARTISTS WHO ENGAGE IN PHYSICAL EXERCISE?

SOME OF THE TRAITS SEEN IN VARIOUS ARTFORMS
Then there is the long tradition of repetition, obsession, pattern, kinetics in the history of art, though not discussed in relationship to artist’s own exercise regimes, if any. My favourite examples include Bruce Naumen, Tehching Hsieh, the tradition of obsessive calculation in Structuralist films, and Beckett, of course.

RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ART, PHYSICAL EXERCISE
I discuss this with a friend,  a devoted long-distance runner, who says that he read that ‘Felix Mendelssohn was a good athlete but I really don’t know how that can be heard in his music’.  He suspects that physical activity was not really something that musicians, writers or artists engaged in, given that it was associated with manual labour and hence unbecoming. ‘The exercise & health madness that we see today didn’t start until late 20th-century.’  He goes on on suggest that it would be interesting to examine how ‘the body’s physiological and biochemical responses, together with the repeated muscular motion, can be presented audio-visually. It’s yet another way of depicting human movement, but focussing on the involuntary aspects of it, which also suggests the “carnal”. (I am thinking of Bataille’s “formless”, which has a feature called “pulse”).’

Well, it certainly suits public (+ artists’ own narcissitic) imagination better to think of artists who chose to alter their consciousness with substances drugs/alcohol. Self-destructive artists ‘make better stories’ – and many did write better stories too? (Huxley, Baudelaire, Jim Morrison, Warhol – the list is endless) The Romantic picture of the artist is one that is filthy, unkempt and tormented with wild hair, not one with bandana in sweat pants and working out, which is an image reserved for sissies. Beethoven doing yoga? Ginsberg on the treadmill? Pollock performing stomach crunches? Emin cycling in thermodynamic swimsuit after a 2km ocean swim? Say no more. This is nauseating.

LABEL FOR THIS ‘ART MOVEMENT’? (very witty pun, intended)
What could this exercise or movement (pun intended! Since there are not enough artists to warrant this a ‘movement’ in the first place!!) be possibly called?  Exercise art? Sports art?  Fitness art? Endurance Sports art?? Exercise Physiology art?

ARE YOU AN ARTIST WHO ENGAGES IN PHYSICAL EXERCISE? IF YOU DO, HOW DOES IT RELATE TO YOUR WORK, IF AT ALL? IF YOU DO NOT ENGAGE IN PHYSICAL EXERCISE, WHY NOT?

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