By: Ryan Lindsay
Fear. Fear is the four-letter killer of creativity, the conduit to conformity, the constant crater in our consciousness that tells us to sit in our sinking ship of ennui because uncertainty is scary and change is hard. Why try? You know you’re going to fail anyways. I’m gonna be bad at it, I don’t want to try. What if people laugh? What if people don’t like me? What if I fail? And why? Why pursue creativity, or art? That’s just for kids and those who can’t make money in the real world; you have to live in the real world. Worries and worries and worries cloud the creative process, and responsibilities block the light of childlike imagination that shone in us so clearly at a previous age. But, can fear be, as Mike Tyson says, a fire? A force that one can control and use as a catalyst to pursue the unknown? Renaissance man Nereo II poses these ideas to Winnipeg’s most inspired artists in Worriers/Warriors, a documentary that premiered this Sunday night (Jan. 17th) at The Good Will.
Nereo describes Worriers/Warriors as "a poetically charged documentary that delves into the psychology behind the self imposed limitations we sometimes create within ourselves." As a poetic analysis on the ideas of limitations and what he terms, 'empowerment through vulnerability', the documentary itself draws from a range of pools that may define art. Nereo trades thoughts and intimate performances with artists as varied as poet Aaron Simms, author/sage Niki Trosky, Selci Wind of Sapphire Empire, and Anishinaabe musician Leonard Sumner, among others. The film always, however, comes back to the main idea of facing one's fears. And this, most importantly, is why it has relevance not only to those who work professionally as artists, but to all who wrestle with fear and have thoughts of working on more creative pursuits on a daily basis. Nereo affirms the idea that the creative process is essential to living a fulfilling life, and opened the night of the screening with the Picasso quote, that "every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up".
In a style befitting one of Winnipeg’s most eclectic artists, a live painting/spoken word poetry/b-boying/jazz/freestyle rap jam followed the screening. For those who were there, the moods bounced between intimate, awe-inspiring, and a fully excited, uninhibited joy. View the trailer below, and if you weren’t at the Good Will tonight hopefully you can catch this local cinematic force at a later viewing.
Don't let fear further stifle the Artist Child in yourself.