If someone asked me what I think the future of art is, I would say that I see performing arts becoming multisensiorial. Concerts enriched by smells or images, exhibitions with music, ballet with a chance to dance for the audience, not exclusively for the performers.
The world we inhabit has changed immeasurably in the last few years. We are used to multitasking and doing only one thing at the time feels like a waste of time. In a way we are no longer used to it. We read and reply to e-mails on our mobile phones while we travel or queue at the counter, watch movies on tablets, work remotely and securely from our “office” in a coffee shop anywhere in the world. One thing at a time is no longer enough for our over stimulated senses.
I saw one attempt of this – sadly in one room only – at the National Portrait Gallery for the Stardust: Bayley exhibition. It is such a pleasure watching intense imagines accompanied by music in the background.
I had the pleasure to experience my idea of 21st century art last week at Maggs in Mayfair. The powerhouse of antique books was hosting a live performance of Beatie Wolfe. The place is very well known amongst the antique book collectors circle. I have passed by several times and always wished I had a reason to cross the door and browse its shelves.
Beatie is a great performer, blessed with talent and beauty, not afraid to cross the boundaries – a quality that lead to a collaboration with Leonard Cohen – communicating her rich and intellectual inner world. As only real artists can do, she can express what we all feel and experience. The difference is that she does it better than we would do.
What a better place than one of the world’s oldest and most prestigious rare booksellers to celebrate the first print of her album lyric book, in eighty-eight copies only, was one. After the release of the first 3D album she goes back to her origins: it turned out that her grandmother and grandfather met at Maggs quite few decades ago. He was a writer selling his manuscript, she was a shopping assistant. We can never move too far from our roots.