Some books fall on your head. They get knocked off a top shelf and the corner of the hard spine smacks your skull. When you pick it up, the action of peeling opening the book is like clawing your fingers into a small crack in your mind and prying it open. Not so open that your brain falls out but a gap that lets the breeze in.
Such was my experience of ‘Options with Nostrils’ which contains an essay by Dieter Roelstraete titled ‘A room with many doors’. Dieter is the founder of the ‘Office of Unknowing’ and writes that our longing for art is “to be shown the very limits of understanding” and that when we are defeated by knowing (which is different from understanding but you can read the book if you want to find out more), what is left of the experience of art is wonder.
Normally when I work overseas, I am meticulous organised. I have the work ready to go, I am rehearsed, prepared, ready. I have back up plans, I know what I need and how to get it, I know how to deal with the unexpected, I know where the nearest exist are.
I came to the I-park residency with 2 plans:
Plan A: Do exactly what I always do
Plan B: Don’t have a plan
Somebody else’s heart attack made my mind up about which option to choose and so here I am at I-park with ‘Options with Nostrils’ being not only an object of brain splitting ability but a lullaby to my fear about doing Plan B - the unknown.