FORUM ARCHIVES II

There is no argument that many people with mental illnesses
show exceptional creativity. Although when medicated to behave
"normally" in society their creativity often changes or diminishes.

The question is :
Which is the "real" or "normal" person? and which is the true creativity?

ALSO
Read the Toronto Star article by Jay Ingram titled:
MADNESS AND GREAT ART



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-Who monopolized Immortality? Who monopolized Cosmic Consciousness? Who monopolized Love Sex and Dream? Who monopolized Life Time and Fortune? Who took from you what is yours? Did they ever give anything away for nothing? Did they ever give any more than they had to give?...Listen: Their Garden of Delights is a terminal sewer...Stay out of the Garden of Delights--It is a man eating trap that ends in green goo--Throw back their ersatz Immortality--It will fall apart before you can get out of The Big Store--Flush their drug kicks down the drain...
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We moderns now know that life is a meaningless horror from which we are protected by various frail schemes and illusions. Most people don't want to confront these horrors, which would only drive them MAD. Therefore, serious works of art cannot be popular. Conversely, to make a work of art more popular, one must make it more corny (untruthful, sentimental, etc. It follows that if a work is broadly popular, it must be corny. It is dangerous to go deeper, to try to get at more basic agreements. One clings to a faith in order to stave off truth. Why should a poet try hard to be understood when he feels that what he has to say will only make his audience as miserable as he is? Or when he despises and fears his audience?
Dean B.
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"But then they danced down the street like dingledoodies, and I shambled after as I've been doing all my life after people who interest me, because the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes 'Awww!'."
Jack Kerouac
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and cheers to you merk....... Artist are looking for the 'jury prize' and public adulation. Adulation involves comfort and security from mumsy's tits. That's ok, everyone's seen them. Then there's the artificial breast. I see nothing wrong with fake breasts. But why is there is a sudden steep rise in suicide. Call it an artificial death, from an artificial breast. We are down on our knees praying to Christ sucking on "mumsy's" tit (in the park) (in the gallery) (in the studio) (in our relationships) ( in our art). Are we satisfied with a silicone-filled artificial breast!? Mumsy never took us to the park to play with the other kids and see life outside of your own backyard... This is the source of mental illnesses. To show exceptional creativity, to open and peer inside the forbidden closet. Never before have we been exposed to so many dangers and such creativity... All great art stems from our inadequate connection to our mother's breast.
M. F.
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and cheers to you moony. and you too V. i always enjoy a good banter.
merk


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I think we all have "mental disorders" of one sort or another if you really look at it. Whether thats just a fact of mankind or a fact of our society feeling the desperate desire to label every difference between us a 'malfunction' or 'imbalance' i don't know. Show me someone who doesn't have major ups & downs & fits & depressions & rages & trancendent moments & confusion & pain and i will show you the one who isn't the 'norm'. And in response to V, i'm not supporting the abuse of drugs to the point of self harm but more of an certain direction if one so chooses. Certainly thats not for everyone. Neither is sitting in little 'artist society circle jerk groups' discussing which one of them has the most convoluted artist statement that has nothing to do with their art piece nor any emotional conection to themselves and therefore deserves the 'jury prize' and public adulation for saying nothing at all. Everyone has a different path. Yours obviously involves discussing my mumsy's tits. That's ok. Everyone's seen them. She has different shows at 9 and 3. No worries. As for the artificial breast, well, that actually supports my point. I see nothing wrong with fake breasts if thats what she wants. I can appreciate both. Thats like saying 'Well if you like Rennaissance work, you can't like modern expressionism!" Why not? Appreciate it for what it is, not what it isn't. If you don't like it, thats cool too, just make sure you know why. As for the asterisk, think how many artistic creations do you love have been created under the influence or by individuals that operated often with a little assistance. Curious. I've never seen an asterisk in an art book with margin notes stating "This artist was a substance abuser, so we've included it but please don't enjoy it-editor". Everyone has a different direction. Thats all i was getting at. The 'true creativity' is a thing of transcendence. Rising above the everyday and depecting what you feel or see. Its not always pretty and not everyone will agree because no two people will every see alike on everythingm but its always worth while in the endevour. If not for the viewer then simply for the artist. We're a selfish lot and that will never change. If we weren't we would never go back for that sweet art fix that we love so. Art creation is the heroin of the soul.
merk
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The tendency of painters and writers to work on their own, with little or no emotional support from colleagues and friends, may accentuate their symptoms of mental disorder over time. In contrast, scientists often work in groups and receive a fair amount of encouragement. BUT- Scientists have a hard time dealing with the loss of power and social contacts that accompanies retirement. It is no surprise that a sudden, steep rise in the suicide rate of all eminent scientists (from the superstars to the lower elite) at age 60 through 70. The proportion of suicides by older scientists slightly exceeded that of their same-age counterparts in the arts.
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There are 10,000 ways to get to originality. Some people just have incredible imaginations. That doesn't mean they have a mental disorder. Most artists are not mentally ill, and most mentally ill people are not artists...... The mind is its own place, and of itself... Can make a Heaven of Hell, a Hell of Heaven.
C.H.
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The poet Rainer Maria Rilke dropped out of therapy after only a few analytic sessions, fearing, "If my devils leave me, my angels will too."


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The public and the sellers of art love it when an artist dies or ruins their life from their own hand, call it an "artificial" death or a real death it doesn't matter. Look at a plastic crucifix, or a Van Gogh sunflower on a coffee mug, or Tom Thomson's west wind on a place mat, or art museums packed with the works of suffering starving dead artist with all their works framed in gold.
M.F.
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Sounds like you are saying suicide is an "artificial" death? Sounds pretty real to me!
V
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Hello V. I know you directed this at merk and he has his own point of view. You said "but I would still put an asterisk beside your creation, much like a steriod winning athlete"..... My question is- when did art turn into a sport? The public and the sellers of art love it when an artist dies or ruins their life from their own hand. The public would put exclamation marks beside these creations. Would we be down on our knees praying to Christ if he wasn't crucified?
M.F.
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Welcome To The Arts..... Recent studies have shown that poets and writers are four times more likely than others to suffer from affective disorders, particularly manic depression. Dickinson, Eliot, and Poe are among the many poets who suffered from an affective illness. Writers such as Balzac, Conrad, Dickens, Emerson, Faulkner, Fitzgerald, Ibsen, Melville, and Tolstoy also suffered from the illness. In many cases, the writer's depression led to suicide: John Berryman, Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton, Ernest Hemingway and Virginia Woolf. The Visual Arts Painters, sculptors, and other visual artists have also been afflicted by depressive disorders. Gaugin, Jackson Pollock, Michelangelo, and Georgia O'Keefe suffered from depression. Van Gogh, Arshile Gorky, and Mark Rothko committed suicide. Contemporary designers are plagued by alcohol and drug abuse, which are associated with depression. The Musical Arts The death of Nirvana's Kurt Cobain brought the issue of suicide into the spotlight. But the problem was not new to the music world. Classical composers such as Rachmaninoff, Schumann, and Tchaikovsky suffered from affective disorders. Irving Berlin, Charles Mingus, Charlie Parker, and Cole Porter also suffered from depressive illnesses.


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Well merc I sense a bit of a contradiction (again in regards to comments about this topic). Obviously you enjoyed sucking on "mumsy's" tit (in the park?) and here your comments suggest that you would be equally satisfied with a silicone-filled artificial breast!? But back to creativity....I suppose that as long as the drug induced inspiration allowed you to return to a useful being to society (that didn't cost the rest of us to pay for your re-hab) then sniff, snort, drink away, but I would still put an asterisk beside your creation, much like a steriod winning athlete.....
V
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what makes artificial wrong? 'Natural' is just different neurons firing with different chemicals in your head, so if you add chemicals...? All it does is provide a different perspective. Utilize natural & artificial. Why wouldn't you utilize all the resources available to you? unless you're just johnny purist, and then i feel mildly sorry for you that mumsy never took you to the park to play with the other kids and see life outside of your own backyard
merk
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Mr P...The difference though with recreational drugs and alcohol then, would be the "artificial" change in the person using them. I think then that this may make Elton John a kind of a fraud no?...If his best creaativity was based upon the effects of drug and alcohol abuse? As with the original queston -- which is the "real" person??
V
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I'd just like to add that alcoholics and drug addicts share this same problem. Elton John complained of a loss of inspiration after he stopped abusing.
mr. pasta/9/03


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For me, it is as though at every moment the actual world had completely lost its actuality. As though there was nothing there; as though there were no foundations for anything or as though it escaped us. Only one thing, however, is vividly present: the constant tearing of the veil of appearances; the constant destruction of everything in construction. Nothing holds together, everything falls apart. The sense of eternity is tempered by mortality, weathering, peeling, rusting and the density of the veil that covers us all.
E. Lonesome
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"There is no argument that many people with mental illnesses show exceptional creativity. Although when medicated to behave "normally" in society their creativity often changes or diminishes." ...... I think you've summed it up in this statement. If you go deep enough into any art you have the potential to fly into the outer limits. Some time ago I saw a video on Africa. One of the shots was a person playing a cello like instrument out under a tree. It was taken with a special lens because the person was about half a mile away. You could see him clearly but you couldn't hear the sound he was making. There was no audience and he didn't know he was being filmed, it was just him and his music. He had his head high in the air, he moved in such a way you would assume he had some kind a mental illness. No- he was in another world, a world of his own! ...... Our society wants us medicated to behave "normally" if we join our society our creativity changes or diminishes or disappears completely.
9/21/03



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