ART has always had the power to strengthen and nurture community and culture. This is part of art’s ancient legacy. Art carried a communal function that gave aesthetic form to shared experience and dreams. Art catalyzed deep social sharing. As our world has become increasingly fragmented and our daily lives busier and busier, art holds out the possibility of slowing us down and bringing us together, as individuals and as community.
Today, we are in need of a form that will allow us to communally access a greater fullness in art. Our collective receiving is calling for something deeper. Our current model, as normally occurs in a gallery or museum, is like a small, or not so small, party and while that’s often a wonderful and uplifting experience, it may not be going far enough in providing for our communal reception and awareness of the work. Inevitably one feels that in order to more fully experience the art one must return at a time when the gallery is less crowded and one can quietly, and individually, take in the work. It seems there is something missing in that we are not able to explore and share the richness of the art in a more collective setting.
A "Concurrence" is an hour-long event designed for communal reception and sharing of visual art. Inspired by Slow Art Day, a Concurrence is a contemporary form working to recontextualize visual art back towards its mythic and ritual origins of communal meaning and nurturance. The form begins by taking approximately fifteen minutes in which participants (approximately ten) quietly stand and take in the various visual art objects presented at the venue. Those present that would prefer not to participate are asked to stand quietly on the side. After fifteen minutes a circle of chairs is made and the participants sit together. One by one, each person may share their experience, thoughts, sensations and feelings, for a minute or two, or not, and may choose to pass. After each person in the circle has shared the circle opens up to responses, comments and conversation for another five to ten minutes. This is followed by a quiet moment and then the Concurrence closes.
The form of a Concurrence allows for the experience of art to return to its communal roots. While we no longer believe in an overarching, homogenous, cultural story that we live by, we do all share a desire for human richness and depth of experience. A Concurrence provides an opportunity for cross-sector enrichment and for a shared intuitive development of our communal desire for wholeness.
I would be very interested in speaking with you about the possibility of facilitating a Concurrence at your venue, or in answering any questions that you might have.