Creativity, Dementia and Gallerinas (Again) : Not Necessarily Related
The approach is based on the assumption that incorporating music, visual art, writing and performance into clinical care can increase feelings of well-being and even improve health -- an assumption that medical researchers are beginning to recognize the need to test with evidence-based studies.
Growing belief in the healing value of the arts was on display last month at a symposium at New York's Museum of Modern Art titled "The Value and Importance of the Arts in Health Care." Participants -- physicians, hospital administrators and artists -- were as upbeat as if they were promoting a miracle drug: Integrating the arts into health care is in vogue, said Leonard Shlain, a laparoscopic surgeon in San Francisco, "because it works."
The other I stumbled across in the Health section of The New York Times and it deals with somewhat the reverse...how a form of dementia seems to actually increase creative output in its victims:
The disease apparently altered circuits in their brains, changing the connections between the front and back parts and resulting in a torrent of creativity.But we're getting ready for the next art fair (by which I mean the NEXT Art Fair) in Chicago, and so I am too pressed for time to do the comparison-contrast myself at the moment ... but, all means, feel free to see if you find any connections.
“We used to think dementias hit the brain diffusely,” Dr. [Bruce Miller, a neurologist and the director of the Memory and Aging Center at the University of California, San Francisco] said. “Nothing was anatomically specific. That is wrong. We now realize that when specific, dominant circuits are injured or disintegrate, they may release or disinhibit activity in other areas. In other words, if one part of the brain is compromised, another part can remodel and become stronger.”
Besides, a reader calling themselves "Once a Gallerina" left such a great comment on the "Don't Hassle the Gallerinas" thread, I thought it deserved its own post. I agree with virtually everything Once a Gallerina notes here. I might be a bit more sympathetic to the frustration of artists seeking representation (although not at all sympathetic to those who think they should try to muscle their way into one), but otherwise, this made me smile in that painfully knowing way:
It's amazing to read these comments from people who never were in that position. I once worked as a front-desk person at a fairly well-known Chelsea gallery. I did not have trust funds, etc...and I needed that money. I quickly figured out that it wasn't for me. But I learned a lot about the less-gossiped about aspects of the art business.Consider this an open thread on creativity, dementia and gallerinas--not that I'm implying any connections there, mind you.
The most amazing thing to observe is how truly rude visitors can be and how megalomaniacal so many people are. The gallery management was temperamental and contrary to overall perception, reception is where you sit, but the actual job has very little to do with it. I was also not allowed to leave the gallery for lunch, ever. I am not kidding, at least three times I day there would be a person **demanding** a solo show, a meeting with the director, a teenager asking why he couldn't just "get one of these exhibitions" you do, a request to drop off "portfolios"...people would get very angry, really. At a certain point, you are able to spot the people who are coming in with these kinds of requests. A lot of gallery visitors are not as informed about the gallery system as one would think. Others have transparent agendas.
All of the above would be especially angry that a "little" person would get in the way for their dreams of grandeur. I would always alert the staff if the big collectors were in, curators, museum directors, etc...**that** is the audience the galleries cultivate in order to make sure the artist's work can be seen for the long term.
As for Eric's request for catalogues, are you kidding? Galleries are not going to give away catalogues, only if the press person is writing articles on their artists. That makes sense, don't you think? Galleries work to show and contextualize artists part of it means spending their energy and resources in a focused manner. If every visitor got the attention they wanted, there would be very little accomplished at the end of the day.
People seem to think that galleries are awash with endless amounts of money ... that's not necessarily the case. There is really high overhead.