Contributors from WRITERESPONSE share their thoughts on the performances, exhibitions & events that make up


Sunday, August 29, 2010

DRIVE and Passion

by Gai Anderson
Big hARTs DRIVE , Young men and the art of Risk Taking
Ernesto Sirroli , Passion Entrepreneurship and the Rebirth of Local Economies

Saturday morning was one of contradictions for me – contradictions and possible connections.

The impassioned, entertaining and inspired Plenary with Ernesto Sirroli was a joy to hear – the story of his creative journey, and how he finds his own passion in facilitating the passion of others. Exciting stuff indeed – seemingly a golden pill for all of us middle class arty types to swallow: follow your passion. Who doesn’t want to do that?

Although I’m not sure that the art as product model fits so neatly as it does with fish, but he certainly got me thinking about where the passion lies in my own arts practice.

But what if the only passion you can find is behaviour so dangerous that your actual life is threatened by it?
Please forgive me if I have made a 90-degree turn here, but DRIVE, the powerful documentary about risk taking and young men on the NW coast of Tasmania has grabbed me by the heart again. Not the film itself this time, but the panel of young men involved in making the documentary – there, lined up on the stage together. Laughing with each other and shy in turns. Their vulnerability palpable in this setting – more scared of having to talk about themselves in public than of the life and death behaviours behind the wheel that the documentary illuminates so chillingly. Just ordinary boys sitting there – their lives on screen are such an indictment to the dysfunction of our society, but they have (at least temporarily) been saved from possible self-destruction by this inspired arts project.
Well done bighART!
Maybe art can’t save the world but …
DRIVE is the bravest piece of art I have seen for a very long time.

And then I notice that the audience of delegates is almost entirely women asking the questions of these boys on stage – where are all the men anyway?

And finally, I wonder if Ernesto has an answer. Where do these boys and the thousands more out there in rural Australia fit into his model? Is there a golden pill for them to swallow too?
I really hope the answer is Yes.

DRIVE is due to be screened on ABC later in the year, and hopefully for distribution all over the country.

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