The Art of Healing: a Self-portrait w/ Chinese Cupping Therapy
“Being an artist means forever healing your own wounds and at the same time endlessly exposing them.” Annette Messager
As much as Acts of Ritual is about healing and transformation, it is also about crafting artful ways of living. Too often we hear people say they wouldn’t dare to call themselves an artist – they’ve never made a painting or danced in front of an audience. But then we’ve never believed the only way to be ‘artful’ is to hang something on a wall or perform an old story. These things are lovely! Don’t get us wrong. We have a plethora of friends doing this, we do this, and these art practices are impressive…
…But at the end of the day, we are passionate about creating art that takes us further than representation.
What we’re hoping to do is stir up that same creative output by diving deeply into the self and our connection to universe. We ask ourselves, “How can we do this as a regular way of being? How can we descend a layer deeper, beyond the layer where the label of “artist” only refers to people who create art that can be bought, sold, or attended?” At Acts of Ritual, we’re interested in exploring a new interpretation of “artist” and creating a new image of what is considered “art.”
Our intention is to invert the image. To create an image in which WE are the art. Our bodies. Our souls. In this interpretation, the art and the artist are one. In this interpretation, art is a way of being.
We’ve both explored the art of “crafting oneself” from a young age. Through arts training, we were encouraged to actively explore ourselves as individuals. Always learning about our bodies, our anatomy, our voices, our mind/body connection, our personal archetypes and the characters, roles, and masks we’re constantly moving through to simply make it through any given day. As performers we’ve needed to actively study these things to improve our craft. It is through this process of “crafting oneself” that we are able to strip away our protective outer self and find the self within.
It’s a never ending process in search of a vulnerability and authenticity within ourselves, out of which we perform. Out of which we connect with audience, through universe, in the most open way possible.
We don’t pretend to have this figured out yet or believe there is a “best” way to go about doing it, but it’s the journey we’re on that we’re excited to share here. Because we’re exploring HOW to do this ALL the time! For instance, that conversation I had with you at the coffee shop the other day? Yup, even then. Who am I? How can you see me better? How can I see you better? We’re always asking.
You may ask why crafting yourself is worth the effort?
We believe that living artfully allows us to simultaneously accept ourselves exactly as we are while consciously choosing who we want to become in the world. We can create ourselves anew time and time again, reconfiguring and refining ourselves like a masterpiece that is never finished until the day the artist dies.
So WHAT does artful living look like?
How can it be enacted? “I work a 40 hour a week job,” you say and “I don’t have time to be artful in my daily comings and goings. I don’t even have time to read this blog post!” We know artists who are also struggling with this! This is a fundamental question we’re trying to answer and one of Acts of Ritual’s main reasons for being.
As we explore living artfully together here on this site, we begin by proposing that our bodies and souls ARE art objects. Just like the sculpture that’s possibly greeting you every day as you walk in the door. Exploring the self IS a cultural experience. Just as worthy of your time as a trip to the museum. We believe that learning to craft intention and interaction through artful living can truly change culture.
We can start reshaping culture by seeking those experiences inside of ourselves.