Freedom: Luscious in Art and When Embodied

Sculpture by Henry Moore, born on this day in 1898 – 1986

Really great art – be it music, poetry, literature, sculpture, painting or film – changes the way we move in the world. Its effects are first felt in the body, and then in the mind – as liberation, as expansion into a wider, untapped reality, connection and empathy, as the freedom to think in ways for which there are no maps or outlines yet.

The words “freedom”, “free”, “liberation”, “liberated” used in a political context are almost always the opposite of that. At best, a legal victory that binds to a clearly outlined, bureaucratic system that, once again, will demand conformity, and more often than not a rather addictive, even cult-like adherence to it. If not lip service as such, this kind of “freedom” is not more than a verbal, a conceptual good. Freedom of speech, freedom of belief, the freedom to consume whatever you want, you name it… None of it delivers what it promises, because the promise of it is always larger, and more appealing, than its manifest reality… In short, it is “freedom” that links to new rules, not to new dreaming.

The wish to be free is embedded in the psyche and as old as humanity. But what is mystical in essence and persists over time can not be confined by laws, ideologies, a region, an era. Freedom and liberation are a lot more than reactionary, short-lived battles or slogans.

Freedom that is not rationalized and not defended, freedom that is experienced lets us move in a new way. When you get it, you know it, and everyone else too, because you are rare.

NJ,
30 July 2016

#HenryMooreDay

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