in the land of expectation

Posted by Daniela Elza on Jul 06 2012

Floating Like a Goat: Or, What we talk about when we talk about art is a story by Zsuzsi Gartner written in the form of a letter to her daughter’s Art teacher. (The story is in her recent book Better Living Through Plastic Explosives. In it Zsuzsi writes:

“The point of art, Miss Subramanium, is in *not* meeting expectations. Ha! Yes, that is the point! I surprise even myself with this revelation. So Georgia, in ‘not yet meeting expectations,’ is, in fact, at the top of her class. Art, and here I include dance, music, film, and belles lettres, is perhaps the only human activity where not meeting expectations corresponds with success, not failure.”

A page before that the author writes:

“Taking risk —that is the artist’s and the child’s, job.”

I know a girl who cried after her art teacher fixed the nose on her self-potrait painting. The child hated her picture after that.

In grade three my son was told by his Art teacher:
This is not how you draw fire.

Hell yeah, it is!

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