© NILAN JOHNSON 2020

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"Art is not what you see, but what you make others see"

-Edgar Degas

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit.”

-Aristotle

the WORK

 

Some of my thoughts (they change out quite often):

 

1. My work is loud, sexual, sensitive, and angry because I want to leave no excuse for the creators in the room to shy from making theatre. For theatre to me is a domesticated monster looking for its chance to escape. I agitate the room by setting the monster free. For we learn on our feet, not on our ass. 

 

2. I purposefully arrange words to challenge the audience's ear. For exposure is the first step of eliminating ignorance. Which I presume the audience brings with them into the room, only adding to my own. This conversation...this diminishing of ignorance is always the actual engagement. This is theatre. The power I'm trying to master.

 

3. I am blissfully human. As a flawed creature, what I say today may not concur with yesterday or tomorrow. I state these truths to emphasize the complexity of the grey I possess. My understanding that new input demands a new output. My artistic value rests in the way I navigate fact, lie, and opinion.

 

4. I want to be heard, be understood, to communicate. It is such a basic human need, but my art, practicing my art has granted me a voice. I am working finally within my voice. Not my voice through this method or technique. Not my voice imitating another. My voice. My art. Authenticity.

 

5. I find the word diversity to be problematic. For its true intent usually dies in the room for a picture perfect aesthetic. An appropriative community. Does community have to rest on an agreed normality? Or does equality of difference actually exist? My work fights to keep these questions alive. I am in constant pursuit of proving that community must reflect a diversity of thought/expression/critique at all times. I believe that uniting in a found universal thread creates a link of empathy but not necessarily sameness in ideals. And that's ok. 

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