Old is the new GORGEOUS – a solo exhibition of new works by Diana Hyslop at the Fried Contemporary Gallery in Brooklyn, Pretoria until July 18.
“… our bodies change but at the same time, if we allow, we mature – aging is therefore less about the old than about the new”
In an era that is obsessed with the body, and so permeated with visual images that appearance has assumed unprecedented importance, we are expected to scrutinize, discipline and beautify ourselves well into adulthood. We begrudgingly embrace the preoccupation with youthfulness.
At the time of my birthday somebody asked my age. It was like being asked how much I earn. I came out with the line: ‘closer to 60 than 50…’
Approaches to aging are fearful and negative. The idea of getting older, which should be a time of wonder and resolve, is one of being a burden in which we ultimately lose our minds and our value.
Susan Sontag wrote about the need aging women have felt to be represented as girls; to remain sexually eligible while their ex-husbands find younger lovers. Women, Sontag lamented, have acquiesced in it all.
The creation of art has begun to be confined by the same rules as advertising. As a new generation arises, the previous one must be magnanimous.
While both inclinations – to deny or follow trends – are overwhelming, there has to be some celebration of arrival through artistic creation. For the artist, it is a place of one’s own making, and nobody else’s.