In a recent conversation with a fellow prose writer, I articulated my frustration with writing my artist statement, one of the many documents I crafted on the job market this past fall and one I am still revising. (Is an artist statement ever done?) I told her while I know my work is interested in the relationship between artistic practice and social justice, I don’t yet know what that relationship is. She put down her glass and blinked at me as though I had asked her if paper was thin, then proceeded to tell me that while art itself might not be capable of instituting change in the world, it creates the space for change to be imaginable.
* Paula Mendoza*
I read this Salon article about GenXers and mid-life crises which hones in on a few particulars of one generation’s anxiety about growing old. Author of the article, Sarah Scribner, citing economist and demographer Neil Howe, spoke of how the Boomer generation’s mid-life crisis was marked by a kind of claustrophobia over the constrictions of family and career, whereas with GenXers, the opposite fear prevails—an agoraphobia that paralyzes with seemingly infinite choices and options…I’d like to speak to what Scribner calls a ‘survivalist’ tendency in this demographic—that quality of enterprising restlessness, fashioned by economic crises, war, and two terms of a Bush presidency.