Thoughts & Insights
Summer Comes Only To The Patient
"Being an artist means not reckoning and counting, but ripening like the tree which does not force its sap and stands confident in the storms of spring, without the fear that after that will come no summer. It does come. But it comes only to the patient who are there as though eternity laid for them. So unconcernedly, still and wide. I learn it daily, learn it with pain for which I am grateful. Patience is everything."
This wonderful, almost lyrical statement about what it means to be an artist comes from Dennis Hopper. No, not Edward, the painter, but Dennis, the film actor and director who was also an excellent photographer and a painter in his own right.
He was surely one of the most eccentric personalities that Hollywood has ever seen. He became famous for Easy Rider (1969, the first movie he directed himself, and he worked with the world’s best directors on legendary films like Apocalypse Now (1979), Blue Velvet (1986), Speed (1994) and Waterworld (1995). His provocative behaviour once nearly drove Wim Wenders and Bruno Ganz to their wit’s end until, fortunately for us all, the two actors finally managed to settle their differences after a long night of drinking.
Cinema buffs that we were, OUBEY and I shared a common enthusiasm for this great actor ever since seeing him in Blue Velvet which was the first film starring Dennis Hopper that we saw together. Two years ago and quite by chance I came across Hermann Vaske’s award-winning and very gripping documentary Uneasy Rider about the life of Dennis Hopper. The introductory quote to this blog comes from that film, and in fact it contains so many deep and meaningful thoughts about art and life and death that I’d like to share some of them with you today without any commentary on my part.
Build your life according to your inner voice
Ask yourself in the stillest moments of your night: Must I write? Dive in yourself for a deep answer. And if this should be affirmative, and if you meet this earnest question with a strong >I must<, then build your life according to this necessity.
Only in itself
Everything is just station and then bringing for. To let lack impression and lack germ of a feeling come to completion, only in itself, in the dark, in the inexpressible, the unconscious beyond reach of one´s own intelligence, in a wait with deep humidity and patience. The birth hour of a new clearance. That alone is living the artist life.
Art is only a way of living
Art, too, is only a way of living. Therefore save yourself from these general things and seek those which your own daily life offers you; describe your sorrows and desires, passing thoughts, the belief in some sort of beauty – describe all these with loving, quiet, humble sincerity and use to express yourself the things in your own environment, the images from your dreams and the objects from your memory.
I like what Marcel Duchamp once said that “The artist of the future will be a man who points his finger and says `That´s art´ and it will be art.”
The creator must be a world for himself
Perhaps it will turn out that you are called to be an artist. Then take that destiny upon yourself and bear it, its burden and its greatness, without ever asking what reckon pense might come from the outside. For the creator must be a world for himself and find everything in himself and in nature to whom he is attached himself.
To have the courage for the most strange
That is at bottom the only courage that is demanded of us to have the courage for the most strange, the most singular und the most inexplicable that we may encounter. That mankind in this sense had been cowardly, has done life endlessly harm. The experiences that are called “visions”, the whole so called spirit world, death and all those things then are so closely, attend us.
Hopper´s words stand for themselves and speak for themselves. This alone would be reason enough to include them in the spectrum of my Thoughts&Insights. Yet beyond this, they also show an astonishingly close affinity to OUBEY’s own views, to his own thoughts and feelings on these issues – an affinity that instantly struck me and moved me when I first saw Uneasy Rider.
Photo credit (Bits): Sebastián-Dario
Photo credit (Thoughts&Insights): OUBEY – Summer Day