Eu confesso que sou viciada nas colagens cinematográficas do documentarista Adam Curtis. Encontrei esta entrevista do curador Hans Ulrich Obrist com Adam Curtis e recomendo cada parte: I e II. Dos seus documentários, o que mais me chamou a atenção é “O Século do Eu”, sobre o individualismo.
A respeito deste tema, recortei algumas passagens da entrevista:
“The great dialectic of our time, which is between individual experience and how those fragments get turned into stories, both by individuals themselves, and then, by the those in power above them. And then there is what gets lost in the process [...] It’s like when you live through an experience, you have no idea what it means. It’s only later, when you go home, that you reassemble those fragments into a story.
The desire of the individual is still at the center of our society at the moment. If you go into a bar tonight, and you listen to the conversations, you will hear men and women describing to each other how they feel about someone else, or how someone else they know feels about someone else. Inner feelings are everything. They’re talking like a novelist’s description.
That fixation on the primacy of individual experience and feeling is not going to go away. But we’re beginning to realize two things: first, that this individualism is limited, and second, that when things get tough economically, socially, and politically, and you are on your own, you feel isolated, and you feel weak.
But this other way of being, this sense of being part of something, of losing yourself in something grander than you—we’re frightened of that, because the last time we did this collective thing, in the 1930s, it led to horror and disaster. [...] Now we seem to want to rediscover that collectivity, but we’re still frightened of it. And I think that’s going to lead to very, very interesting areas.
The sense in America that you are isolated individuals, and that large, vested interests in Wall Street are using the system to suit their own needs, and leaving you isolated, scared, and alone—I can see a populist demagogue emerging from this. Yet there’s something else waiting to be rediscovered, some new thing that will fuse with that individualism—that will empower individuals and make them stronger collectively, yet not mean that they have to surrender their feelings of uniqueness as individuals. But it’s going to be something else, beyond the individual. It’s going to borrow from religion. But it won’t be religion again.
In The Century of the Self, I tell a story about how a group of nuns in California were sent into an encounter group to try and help them express their feelings and how it created complete chaos and led to the downfall of a whole nunnery, with a group of lesbian nuns emerging out of it. It’s a terribly funny story. But it’s also a very interesting example of what happens when individualism challenges collective ideas.”
Outro tema que surge entre as perguntas do curador inglês é a arte:
“Well, I think that a lot of art has been captured by, again, academic stuff. I find it fascinating these days that you need to know the references behind a lot of art in order to understand it. Someone will, say, put something on a wall in a gallery and to “get it” you have to know that that the image is of a place where something extraordinary or terrible happened. I’m not saying that this is wrong—but it’s also not very dissimilar from an academic putting a footnote in a book. A lot of art is absolutely surrounded by footnotes at the moment.
My working theory is that we live in a managerial age, which doesn’t want to look to the future. It just wants to manage the present. A lot of art has become a way of looking back at the last sixty years of the modernist project, which we feel has failed. [...] They’re using the past to reinforce the present. It’s as if they’re shoring it up. I recently read an interview with a twenty-year-old musician who was saying how much he admired Roxy Music. Well, Roxy Music had their heyday in the early 1970s and it was one of the earlier examples in pop culture of reworking the past and re-cataloging it in a new way. But now Roxy Music themselves are being reworked and recataloged forty years later—so you see, you’re going round and round in these continual circles.”