In Defence of the Difficult

What is your response to difficulty? How do you react when there isn’t someone telling you how you should respond? I enjoyed watching and listening to this (see below). It made me think about ‘challenge’ and ‘experiment’ – and how it is that as soon as someone reaches outside of the comfortable in their work it tends to get the same response with the wider public.

I watched this documentary on Brian Friel the other day and the same thought came to me. A lot of his best work was either turned down when he offered it up, or was met with damp praise. And these plays are now recognised as works of genius.

Perhaps also consider the opprobrium heaped upon Basquiat by art critics (not the wider public, interestingly – or by the idiots who buy expensive art because it is expensive art) who wanted their art minimalistic at the time.

Dadaist readings caused riots. Even PiL concerts in which they hid behind giant projected images (as a stunt) caused mayhem as people’s expectations weren’t met. These days people shrug and walk away. So, again: what is your response to difficulty? How do you react when there isn’t someone telling you how you should respond?


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