Studio Visit

Today, I had a meeting with philosopher and writer, Aaron Schuster.  Aaron is a teacher here at the Sandberg in the Fine Arts Department.  We discussed my proposal and how I might approach my project here.  It seems that my project has 3 very distinct possibilities that don’t, at this moment anyway, seem to intertwine.  There is the personal, the professional and the political.

The personal is a photography project.  It is illegal to take photos of the prostitutes here, so, of course I want to.  I want to see what define photos of “them”.

The professional is where I would rent an actual prostitute’s window and trade in my profession as artist.

The political is where I would look at the political motivations behind the Project 2012 law that closed brothels and windows in the name of “protection” for the residents, working girls, and tourists.

Aaron and I came to the conclusion that I should just spend a lot of time in the Red Light District and see what hit me the most and not necessarily go in with any preconceived agenda or thesis.

This was my first day in my studio at the Sandberg. My “studio” is basically a table in a large room full of other artists.  My chair is red (appropriate) and there are these curious objects tied to the legs of my table.  They are hairy root like branches tied with a cotton-like rope.

I am not sure if they are there by accident, maybe left by a previous student, or if they were intentionally tied there for me.  In my work I have often used trees, roots, hair, etc. so I find these objects a fitting decoration for my worktable.

On my walk home in the rain today, I began thinking more about the objects.  Are they reminders that my work here is rooted and bound to this place, or am I dragging my roots around with me wherever I go? When I got to my room I turned on the radio and Bruce Springsteen was singing The Ties That Bind. This Jersey Girl melted into a big puddle and realized that the answer to my question is…both.

The Ties That Bind

By Bruce Springsteen

You been hurt and you’re all cried out you say

You walk down the street pushin’ people outta your way

You packed your bags and all alone you wanna ride,

You don’t want nothin’, don’t need no one by your side

You’re walkin’ tough baby, but you’re walkin’ blind

to the ties that bind
The ties that bind

Now you can’t break the ties that bind
Cheap romance, it’s all just a crutch

You don’t want nothin’ that anybody can touch

You’re so afraid of being somebody’s fool

Not walkin’ tough baby, not walkin’ cool

You walk cool, but darlin’, can you walk the line

And face the ties that bind

The ties that bind

Now you can’t break the ties that bind
I would rather feel the hurt inside, yes I would darlin’,

Than know the emptiness your heart must hide,

Yes I would darlin’, yes I would darlin’,

Yes I would baby

You sit and wonder just who’s gonna stop the rain

Who’ll ease the sadness, who’s gonna quiet the pain

It’s a long dark highway and a thin white line

Connecting baby, your heart to mine

We’re runnin’ now but darlin’ we will stand in time

To face the ties that bind

The ties that bind

Now you can’t break the ties that bind

You can’t forsake the ties that bind

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