Live – PJ Harvey, “Grow Grow Grow”, Review: On Art, Personal Growth and Vulnerability

 

“Not giving a fuck does not mean being indifferent; it means being comfortable with being different”, at least, that’s what Mark Manson claims in The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck (p. 14). You might not get his point immediately, but watching PJ Harvey’s live performance below will certainly change that. If mainstream art is all about being able to “fit in”, normal art is all about being different and not giving a fuck. Of course, not giving a fuck does not mean that you do not care, or that you are not scared, or that you are without emotion. Rather, it means you may feel all of those things, but won’t let it stop you from doing the right thing. Real art is then, in essence, all about vulnerability. About being able to be vulnerable in front of a large group of strangers, and about having the courage to do just so, even though you might be scared shitless.

Imagine you have to give a live performance about your deepest, darkest, most shameful inner fears in front of a group of artists such as yourself (people who know the vulnerability feeling). Difficult, right? Now, imagine having to do the same thing in front of a group of non-artistic people. People who are, or at least trying hard to be, utterly and completely “normal”. Even worse, right? Like, a fucking nightmare. Because, here you are, being your weird little self in front of those who try hard not to be; in front of X number of people who are all more than capable of pointing out just how weird you exactly are. Not just with your music, but with your clothes, your voice, … your everything.

Lately I’ve been having this suspicion that true art is all about the artist’s courage to “step out of the closet” and be authentically weird or, as a synonym to that, vulnerable. Because true art is all about the courage to be as vulnerable as possible, so that the artist’s vulnerability might serve other people, people they do not know nor care about (“strangers”), in feeling slightly understood. In that sense, one’s own vulnerability serves a greater cause. True art is then, indeed, all about the love of emotional growth. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why it is worth watching this stunning performance of PJ’s “Grow Grow Grow”.


Director: Unknown TV Show

 

Live – Ludovico Einaudi, “Experience” @London, 2013

Need instant support, or perhaps an inspirational video? Watch Ludovico play. Trust me, your heart will feel so much fuller afterwards. Are you tired of the thought overdose in your head, all that mumbling in the background, the big mashup of contradictory feelings you wish you didn’t feel? Are you, in short, tired of having to think or feel? Need a mindful moment? In which your thinking abilities stand totally still? Few musicians can get you to this point, while still implying complexity within and before you, just by the way their faces are shaped when playing the piano. It’s the kind of rhythm you cannot not hear; the one that makes your head shake involuntarily. It’s the external headache, the almost religious surrender to an instrument, the human connection on a deeper, rhythmitical level of a group of human beings using instruments to tap into the human brain, the thorough understanding of Life’s many obstacles and the obstacles within ourselves, the positive melancholy of feeling you have lost and/or forgotten some infinite thing of beauty, the contrasts of good and bad, or even the feeling good within the bad; it’s that rhythmic feeling you can’t control, the force in between your braincells that wants to break out, the feeling of perhaps not being good enough, of being a fraud, someone very unlike you, the feeling you can’t get there, not quite yet; the feeling of not knowing how to live, or think, or feel – the feeling of mere experience. It’s all of that, all into one, that makes you, just for a minute, forget where you are, or how to go from here, or what to think or feel; it’s the mindful use of your eyes and ears and deep inner Self, who, at the moment, is just Here.

Director of MV: Fabric London

Trixie Whitley – Closer

 

As we grow older, imagine me closer to you. Wow, this motion picture could’ve been a painting exhibition. A modern take on the Mona Lisa. What you can do with a simple shot at the right time in the song with the right light and colour…. Oh, so this is what make-up looks like when you’re closer (not the slightest hint of skin asymmetry). Directors who challenge the artist: Be a model. Hold your face still. Learn how to lip sync (though some “artists” know how to do this already of course). Use micro-expressions to maximize pathos. Don’t just act you, BE the real you. Was I naive for trying to believe that beauty on bound – this right here is beauty on bound – could be found? This instant makes even me at a total loss for words. The immense richness of associations with those words “beauty (on) bound”, I’m thinking female rights, female beauty, female insecurity, and so on and so forth, all wrapped up in one perfectly beautiful context such as this one…, though the beauty on bound you’re talking about is probably emotional and totally free from any gender-related context. Cause you’re referring to emotional beauty, right? You know, that thing humans call Love. As we grow older – and apparently change clothes accordingly –, imagine me closer to you. No need to imagine that. Those pure micro-expressions? The lip sync-thingy? The Mona Lisa eye watch? No, no, you’re already close enough. And I must say, I do like the view. The importance of beauty. Or how to make an awesome music video on a low budget.

 

Director of MV: Anders Malmberg