art heals

That's the claim of the Necessary Stage-M1 Singapore Fringe Festival which ended last week.

night mother
a colour remix by J

Having learnt no lesson about healing despite many evenings at the hospital (except maybe that you need patience), I abandoned J one evening for The Edge, a play at the Fringe Festival by young Thai company B Floor Theatre. A series of vignettes about society's false ideals of beauty, wealth, power and relationships, the mostly wordless drama was played passionately by the 5 or 6 young Thai actors/actresses, but painfully - painful in its literal interpretations of these ideals and in its trite conclusion that we only have to reconcile ourselves to the grand drama of life in order to find our place.

I suppose art does heal. Sometimes, it plays doctor by trying to make explicit our sickness. Often, it becomes condescending in its diagnosis. Other times, it serves as an empathetic hospital bedfellow, providing company and conversation - an art humbled by compassion and weakness. And because art can create alternative fictions, and in them we find comforting distraction.

So J and I finally decided to take a movie break last night and caught Capote at the cinema. Truman Capote, most famous for his Breakfast at Tiffany's, seizes upon the murder of a Southern family for his next piece of work, a documentary or non-fiction novel In Cold Blood. To extract what could be truth, Capote resorts to an artful falsehood that, I guess, fooled even himself.

I guess art may heal, but it doesn't save.

Trying some alternative remedies...
>> For Haruki Murakami fans, here's a treat from The New Yorker.
>> For film freaks, the programme of the Singapore Int'l Film Festival is out.


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