Trailer with lettering: BAH DAH

04/01/08 Entitlement / University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA

mantra trailer

After interacting with people all day I noticed that I was nicer and less demanding to the cashiers at Kinko’s, Smoothie King, and the Harris Teeter. Not that I’m rude usually but as a consumer I seem to carry around an inner voice of entitlement. It’s a voice so embedded that I normally don’t notice it. After a day facilitating the Mantra Trailer at the University of Virginia, I lost the embedded feeling of entitlement and noticed it’s absence. Like noticing silence after the repetition of a mantra.

I’m not sure why this happened. Maybe because I spent the day being open to every experience? Maybe from the careful act of listening? Maybe from being in the position of asking for participation? Maybe from relationship exhaustion???

Tags: , , , , , , ,

2 Responses to “Entitlement”

  1. Michelle Says:

    I was lucky enough to meet Sherri when she came to visit UVA and I also attended a lecture she gave to the public entitled “Subversive Complicit Acts of Devotion.” She really touched me with the story of the turning point in her artistic career when her work shifted towards the realm of community and engaging them in the art. Ironically that night I was reading for an Arts in the Community Class and came across a quote that beautifully articulated this transformation:

    “Community is the starting point for new modes of relatedness, in which the paradigm of social conscience replaces that of the individual genius. In the past, we have made much of the idea of art as a mirror (reflecting the times); we have had art as a hammer (social protest); we have had art as furniture (something to hang on the walls); and we have had art as a search for the self. There is another kind of art, which speaks to the power of connectedness and establishes bonds, art that calls us into relationship. Perhaps, as James Hillman says, the new aesthetics will not be found in museums of beautiful objects, but in some visible manifestation of “the soul’s desperate concerns.”
    -Suzi Gablik, The Reenchantment of Art, p.114

  2. slw Says:

    Thank you Michelle for that insightful quote. I was really impressed with the students I met at UVA. So many of you have an awareness of and a desire to invent “art that calls us into relationship.” This hasn’t been the case in many of the other art departments I’ve visited on this tour.