This evening is last of what here in England is called Black History Month. I have been out of the country for the most of it but today it got me with a vengeance. And wonderfully so. I somehow think there is a waiting room somewhere where black artists wait for this month each year so we can radicalise on demand. Ofcourse I am joking but I said as much to a packed audience at Clapham Library. Thankfully they laughed. I pretended to be serious and to be slightly bemused by the laughter – but there is a point….
Actually the event was the final contractual obligation to The South bank and part of their education outreach programme. Clapham Library is what you would think the polar opposite to Hampstead. It is physically on the other side of London – South. Near Brixton. And the audience is alive with question and intrigue. I could see the sparks like fountains
It was my job to talk about being an artist, to explain why I chose Langston Hughes as my Presiding Sprit to read my poems and talk of my beliefs in art and poetry. The audience was made up of people of all races and ages from ten to eighty. The event was an hour and ten minutes with questions and what a way to end the month. There was an encore. An encore. An encore in a library.
I spokeabout how I live as a human being was mainly centred on the theory of binary opposites. If we are trapped in binary opposites we are constantly choosing between two, for want of a better term, things. This means that we are safe with two options, however radically different the choices may seem they are in binary terms, the same. This choice
means that we can be subject to the marketing of manipulative ideas and products. Do this and be happy or do not do this and be sad. Ideas as big as war and as small as choice at the supermarket, as big as a family crisis and as small as what watch you buy all can be trapped in binary. The Matrix (the film) is a definite nod to the theory of the binary trap. To eschew the binary anti-nature which we enforce is to open ones self up to a myriad of experience. And there is the artist. I live my life from the inside out rather than the other way round.