Friday, December 15, 2006

BOHEMIAN MANIFESTO (how come we are bohemian artists and why)

Bohemian living, or consciousness, if you will, has always been provocative. There’s just something about the freedom, recklessness, scandal, artistic vision and spiritual splendor that makes it tantalizing. Bohemianism is not a trend; it’s a timeless movement, a way of life that reappears every now and then as a backlash against our bourgeois, mass market, easy access culture. Bohemianism is more than an attitude. It’s the freedom of ideas, clothing and behavior gently outside the norm. Bohemians wear contrarianism more liberally than ordinary people wear polyester. Bohemians break the rules, set the trends, destroy the art and reinvent the art that everyone wants, or will, eventually, want. Bohemians start movements, they stay up all night talking, and change the world. The Bohemian is not a follower of the virtues espoused by bourgeois society: routine, convention, mediocrity, materialism and respectability. Bohemians despise authority, the status quo, and, because they are often happily broke for not giving up their art in exchange for comfort, capitalism and consumerism. They love all that ignites poetry, music, paintings, and magic. Ingenuity and free-thinking are required for their type of creativity. Giving up security takes the courage to reject mainstream society, to follow dreams and “be yourself at whatever cost”, to shock, revolutionize, to take risks. It takes audacity and confidence to champion unpopular causes, to disregard decorum and morality, to be rebellious against established traditional living arrangements, archaic moral codes and business hours. Bohemians are expatriates that create their own gypsy nirvana wherever they go, making their own music and art. They don’t own a watch, they scatter like seeds, naming things: songs, paintings, poems, characters, movements, children; inspired by gods and goddess, flowers, seasons, rivers. They love colors, melodies, textures, feelings, experiences, sensations. Today’s young urban bohemians are full of vitality, play with their hairstyles, pierce and decorate their bodies, and express eccentricities, poetic anarchy, revolution, creativity, deviance and defiance, with their globally conscious street-smart unique flea-market-ridden personal styles. They create their own aura of smoky mystery and fill their atmosphere with swirls of real smoke like a surreal blanket of edge-softening fairy-fire haze, the residue of mind-altering acts: candles, incense, fireplaces, bonfires, weed, hashish, imported cigarettes, cheap cigarettes, cloves. Like the caterpillar in Alice in Wonderland that smokes a water-pipe and becomes a butterfly: transformation and mind expansion delight bohemians. Light is a bohemian’s passion for its power to create mood, romance and drama, more than for utilitarianism. Modesty has never been part of the bohemian vocabulary: nudity is a liberating beauty, free of class, inhibitions, pretense, an opportunity to return to the earth, to create a utopia uncomplicated by buttons, buckles, zippers and ties. Bohemians are always more comfortable naked than normal people with their decency, traumas and embarrassment. The human form, proportions, skin, body, mind, and soul are the greatest inspiration to the Bohemian. There is no shame, and sometimes even a little glory, in experiencing altered mental states whether they are trance, ecstasy, inspiration, insanity, or drug-induced. Bohemians live traveling inordinately, incessantly, observing, learning, teaching, sharing, freeloading, freewheeling, free-loving, freedom bound, drinking, bartering, smoking what comes their way, taking jobs, notes, photos, fueling up with tea, wine, coffee, absinthe, and other elixirs; moving through a world with few inhibitions, with non-conditioned love-lust that inspires, provokes, evokes, invokes and bursts art, open marriages, soul-mate partnerships, ménages a trios, a bed full of lovers, and any other intimate and romantic, encounter that may end up in a poem, song or painting. They live (oh they live!) truly and deeper than most mortals, dedicated to liberty and often overlooking jealousy, immune to taboos. For life is art is life is art, and Bohemian artists like to be challenged, provoked and disturbed by art (alternative, underground, independent music, cinema, theater, dance); playing in the streets and the parks, dancing on the grass; expanding horizons, minds and music tastes, redefining reality, constantly on the look for something new… always living on the edge.

No comments: