When I came home, though, I didn’t feel that the project had been a success. Why?
I debriefed with my artistic partner, daughter Isabel. She has been reading Amanda Palmer’s “The Art of Asking” which is in part about engaging public audience. So Isabel was giving the project high marks. The only negative we could see: five days is too short to write a poem, put it on the be beach, and totally document it. The interest of passer-bys cries out for another few days of writing the poem collaboratively with strangers.
So what was bothering me? Turns out, I really am used to working in isolation. Writing, of course. And text installation in remote settings. Miami Beach is neither of these. And I could SEE MY BODY in the photographs. This is not my creative experience. I am alone, invisible, actually when I’m writing I feel I’ve gone away, am not there. And yet here I was—visible, in action. Willa’s photographic style seems very much based on motion and dynamics of the body.
Isabel and I were eating sushi and looking at the photos and I started sobbing.I was there. I was visible. the creative act itself had an audience. Wow. Scary. Transformative.
Thank you, Betsy Hotel.
Photographs by Willa Kaufman.