“CAN LESS EVER BE MORE?”
In order to explore this subject of emotional stimulation, I would love to share a memory from my most recent trip to Poland. My husband and I were invited for an art spectacle in Szczecin. Szczecin is a Polish city situated by the River Odra, and approx. 65 km from the Baltic Sea; also within a short distance from the German border & their capital city Berlin. The spectacle titled “Conversation 2, Distant Voices” was an intro to the current project of an artistic couple Heine Avdal & Yukiko Shinozaki.
The artists are based in Norway & Belgium, yet as the sound of her name indicates Yukiko’s Japanese. It is said that Japanese art is valued for its simplicity, but also for its colorful exuberance. As seen on the pictures hopefully, these motives were encountered repeatedly throughout the event of which further description could be made up of such words as: discipline, order, controlled movement and calm emotion (not necessarily peace of mind). In a nutshell, the actors explored the use of simple moveable objects investigating the effects of spatial organization on the body & human perceptions.
As far as I’m concerned, this rather minimalistic theme succeeded by not overwhelming with action. Sound-wise, I would go as far as to say that silence was employed for the purpose of communication much more than sound was. I enjoyed the performance. However, it took a moment before my mind was able to switch fully – passing through something I might call the boredom barrier. This barrier shouldn’t be thought of as unusual taking into consideration that most contemporary minds are continually given to fast paced, loud and chaotic exposures (this surely tends to be the case in London where I live). I found moments of relaxation within the minimalism of this creative project. On the other hand, it definitely aroused my emotions, although without doing much to cause the arousal. It contributed to a birth of a reflexion/message within my mind, rather than implanted one artificially by means of deliberate excessive outward activities.
The first part of the “Conversation 2” ended with the following statement: “Different people see the same thing in different ways.” Likewise, I would like to consolidate these thoughts not so much within one answer, but rather within a question – the question, which had been asked in the title… How much stimulation really is necessary? Isn’t it true that we often inhibit our healthy emotional responses or even our mental capacity by excessive stimulation of our five senses – in this instance, especially the senses of vision and hearing?
At some point in time, most of us experienced the consequences of emotional overstimulation. The boundaries differ from one person to another… As for me however, I hope that the next time, before deciding to watch yet another TV show, or indulge in any other excessive activity, I would be reminded that less can often be more indeed…