The Day I Learned Nothing

9th July 2014. Soapbox at Tate Britain had its full 25 participants today, an audience of all those blessed with 60 years and thereabouts, “the New Generation” (as described by one active but absent agitator).

 

The posh biscuits and posher tea were wolfed down, the introductions given, and the agenda set for Stephen to perform,  as art appreciator,  giving it large at the  Capital Age Festival themed “Older Men and Expression” his take on the topic about older men and their ways with the expressive arts.

Mr  Drever

 

Apart from Matisse and other dead poets the theme perplexed me as I struggled to find in my own experience older men who express themselves in art and performance. On flickering screens Rolf Harris expressive entertainer  and portrait painter to HM goes down to paedophilia pit and Bee Gees Barry cries about his strained relationship with his dead brothers. There’s Lowry up and down on my wall as conflicting reports come in about his love of kiddies, and old actors stand up in court, silver foxes with dirty habits. I attend a drawing class and research Cézanne: another man in art who is nuts and then there’s Van Gogh. I try to uphold William Morris in my desperation as that elusive older man being artist but I am so tired of his leaves and socialism in big houses. Another Stephen wants to rant at Soapbox like a grumpy old man missing the positive point.

 

Back in the room, the soapers explored their idea of the word ‘hero’. Forget ‘heroine’ and ‘sheroes’, ladies in the majority here,  as it’s  C.A.F  and older men time. Stephen took the line about heroes and the received cultural knowledge about the nature of the hero and heroic acts or otherwise. He referred to a 1915 sculpture. Dr Max stood up to say nothing was debated about or referred to older men and expression and he was sorely disappointed. Twas right true too.

 

Unless I look at older men doing expressive dance I’ll never know what it was all about.wpid-img_95315535709391.jpeg

They say Chaplin’s “Monsieur Verdaux” is somehow relevant so I’ll look at that on Tuesday because it’s free.

 

Soapbox is free. To be in the Tate is marvellous. To debate and listen to others’ views is nice. For Stephen to research and then share his findings is first-class. To be brave enough to say you’ve never been inside an art gallery is jaw-dropping. To stand up and ask that we be counted is dangerous.

 

Neech sings a song, a melancholy one, entitled “All In My Stride”. Love it. She crescendos “If there’s a party, I wanna be there!”

                                                                       auntie Joan

 

All in my stride, all in my stride.

**********************************************************************************end

 

 

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