One minute manifesto: Anthony Schrag (Circa 2010)
(NOTE: the performance of this will be much better than the writing – It will involve attempting to juggle kitchen knives.)
Central Two Tenets of My Practice:
1) Everything will be ok
2) Make it all up as you go along.
(I’ve already failed at one of these)
A Manifesto is defined as public written declaration of principles, policies and objectives, especially one issued by a political movement or candidate. I am not sure if I am part of a political movement or if I am candidate for anything other than being myself, however, I will endeavour to provide some sort of manifesto that might explore my principals, policies and objectives in a cohesive manner.
The artist Nathalie de Brie once referred to my practice as “Fearless”. The writer Marjorie Celona said to me: “Anthony. You have a lot of ideas. Not all of them are good.”
I am not sure if in admitting that I become a better artist. Or worse.
And I am not sure if it is clear from this admission that what I am interested in is the tension between fearlessness and failure. Someone, recently, said: there is nothing better than authentic failure on stage. And while I am not a big fan of stages, sometimes we can’t ignore that we all have some form of stage – a gallery wall, a theatre, a blank page, a canvas, a house, a car, a lover or even a field: everyone has a stage that they drag along behind them.
So if we take this person’s statement about authentic failure as a type of truth (and I have chosen to do so) I’d like to use this stage to illustrate the nature of failure and fearlessness, as a way to show another part of my practice - that I’m more of a “doer” than a “maker”.
I can’t juggle. I can’t even juggle with balls. But I do have three kitchen knives and I’d like to see if I can’t just create some authentic failure right now…. I think it illustrates the need within contemporary art to be more welcoming to failure, which is a much wider and bigger topic to discuss, but perhaps it is within the attempt where art can be the most powerful.
(At this point, I will try to juggle with some kitchen knives. I’m not sure what will happen next. But when its finished happening, I will leave the stage.)