Tag Archives: Performance Artist

The Art of Listening In HBO’s In Treatment…

12 May

Listening is truly a lost art.

In Treatment Dr Paul Weston's Hand Gestures

How often do you encounter people in life that you can tell are obviously not listening? It is the most common experience.

Sadly, it has become rare when someone actually listens to you and values what you have to say. 

In Treatment Talk To Me

In Treatment was a half an hour drama on HBO that starred Gabriel Byrne. The show was about the art of listening, psychotherapy, dysfunctions, neuroses, ethics, fears, self-sabotage, mental illness, relationships, conflict, trauma, pain, suffering, healing, resilience, etc.

Compassion and humanity are at the root of psychotherapy and In Treatment respectively. They speak about the deep need to be listened to without judgment. I have a great respect for psychology. It was one of my areas of study and I have intuitively known it is my vocation since childhood.

In treatment was even studied in universities at the time {I am not sure if it still is}. Counselling psychology students discussed in treatment in classes. Its pedagogical purpose was to teach students how to live their potential as psychologist and to help their clients heal.

*

In Treatment is like a prism that reflects the spectrum of humanity.

It can be Shakespearean in its dramatic storylines, intimate revelations and profound intellectual discussions.

{Side note: this is Paul’s wave machine in the introduction}.

It is a cerebral show that dives deep into the Alice in wonderland rabbit hole of the psyche. In treatment relies heavily on the art of acting. Gabriel and the rest of the cast really shine in this thirty-minute drama. The skilled actors play off the script, each other, emotions and body language. They have no special effects to rely on- just their acting skills. {Side note: Gabriel won a golden globe for his performance. Many other actors and the show itself were nominated for numerous awards}.

Gabriel’s character is the compassionate Dr.Paul Weston.

He is the wounded healer, secret keeper, listener, teacher and psychologist.

In Treatment He's Listening

Psychotherapy is based on trust and vulnerability- spiritual and emotional nakedness. There is a strong emotional connection between Paul and all of his patients. First, he has to earn their trust and convince them to trust him and open up.

He must analyze their issues beneath the masks they wear.

He has to discern the truth from lies, distortions and projections.

All of his patients have complex problems and dysfunctional patterns of behaviour.

Some are based on the complexities of being in a relationship and sharing a life with someone despite conflicting personalities or desires. With Jake and Amy, Paul is a mediator between them. He uses conflict resolution, helps them clarify their real issues/emotions and helps them decide on their course of action.

Others are more individual problems with roots in childhood.

Regardless of how the trauma manifests itself, what is evident is that Paul is responsible for his patients.

In some cases, he is the only person that his patients have to rely on. 

*

In treatment examines many themes. One is the issue of transference.

Transference can happen in the therapeutic process. The psychologist has to maintain their boundaries and respect their professional code of ethics.

How do you treat a patient that thinks they are in love with you?

What if they insist on their declarations of love?

What if they play mind games and employ manipulation?

How do navigate that?

*

Intergenerational trauma is another topic that is examined in the show.

Alex is not even aware of the impact of how his father murdered his grandfather traumatized him. He is also not conscious of how his childhood and his father’s toxic masculinity traumatized him.

*

How do you deal with the emotional impact of listening to people’s problems all day?

Many psychologists go to their own psychologist for therapy and to consult about their patients. Paul goes to Gina for this purpose. Their relationship is quite strained but he desperately needs that outlet.

*

Some quotes from this video stood out to me in particular…

“It is hard to see so many people in pain and not be able to do anything to help them in some way.” -Paul

“Maybe helping is easier than feeling the pain.” -Laura

I can attest to this feeling of helplessness. It is very painful for me to see or know that someone is in pain without being able to do anything to ease their suffering.

Laura’s observation has some merit. Sometimes it is easier to help than feel. Sometimes it just hurts too much.

“We are not Gods, we can’t save anybody.” -Gina

Gina’s statement is true.

We cannot save anybody.

We can only help them to save themselves.

“It is possible to live in a world where people panic, where people let each other down, where they disappoint each other but still help each other out.” -Paul

I think this is the most realistic observation.

It is still possible to help each other despite our flaws and limitations.

Paul asks Alex where he wants his therapy to lead him. He answers painfully, “some place where I feel less shitty about myself.”

There is something in Blair Underwood’s voice when he says “some place where I feel less shitty about myself.” We can all relate to this sentiment.

“I thought that is what we are on the earth for- to help each other- to step up to the plate when somebody needs us.” -Paul

I have to agree with Paul.

I think it is noble to derive your life’s purpose from altruism and compassion.

Finding meaning in helping others is something I can deeply relate to.

“There are other places where you can feel safe and here in this room is one of those places.” -Paul

The therapist’s office is like a sanctuary from the chaos of the world.

Paul really wants to help his patients find their own answers to enlighten themselves, empower themselves and solve their problems.

With Sophie, Paul wanted her to have her own epiphanies.

In this scene, Sophie has empowered herself enough to confront her father on his abandonment and absence as a father.

Paul’s role is not to be the judge but to guide them to reconnect and re-establish their relationship. The journey is painful but worthwhile.

*

Paul’s observations/analysis is incisive.

He really gets to the root of his patient’s suffering.

{It reminds me of Robin Williams’ character the psychologist Sean McGuire in Goodwill Hunting}.

His patients always challenge him and often test his boundaries.

*

It should be noted that Paul has his own problems to contend with.

I think it is vital to observe that psychologists are human and imperfect. They have to deal with their own life and its challenges while trying to help others heal and figure out their life’s labyrinth.

*

Happy birthday to Gabriel Byrne today!!!

*

Further Research

Gabriel Byrnehttps://www.byrneholics.com/

Gabriel Byrne’s Internet Movie Database Page

In TreatmentIn Treatment’s Internet Movie Database Page

In Treatment’s HBO Page

*

Have you watched In Treatment?

What did you think?

You can watch it on HBO’s website {for a price}.

*

Rest in peace to Irrfan Khan who recently died {April 29th, 2020}.

He brilliantly played Sunil in the third season.

*

Peace & Compassion,

-V.

Reflection for today…Soulful Gaze -Henry David Thoureau

6 Aug

“Could a greater miracle take place

than for us to look through each other’s eyes for an instant?”

-Henry David Thoreau

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OS0Tg0IjCp4

Marina Abramovic and Ulay started an intense love story in the 70s, performing art out of the van they lived in. When they felt the relationship had run its course, they decided to walk the Great Wall of China, each from one end, meeting for one last hug in the middle and never seeing each other again. at her 2010 MoMa retrospective Marina performed ‘The Artist Is Present’ as part of the show, a minute of silence with each stranger who sat in front of her. Ulay arrived without her knowing it.”

Soulful Gaze Between Performance Artists Marina Abramović & Ulay…

A Soulful Touch...

 A Soulful Touch…

Ulay’s Eyes Reveal A Love Remembered…

*

They say that the eyes are the mirrors of the soul but what about the heart?

The eyes reveal the heart’s hidden desires and suffering.

Marina’s Tears Reveal A Love Never Forgotten…

Please enjoy Touched by Vast…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8S_R13jV11Q

“Touched
You say that I am too
So much of what you say is true
I’ll never find someone quite like you
Again
I’ll never find someone quite like you
Like you

The razors and the dying roses plead
I don’t leave you alone
The demi-gods and hungry ghosts of God
God knows I’m not at home

I’ll never find someone quite like you
Again
I’ll never find someone quite like you
Again

I, I looked into your eyes and saw
A world that does not exist
I looked into your eyes and saw
A world I wish I was in

I’ll never find someone quite as touched
As you
I’ll never love someone quite the way that I
Loved you.”

*

Did Marina’s and Ulay’s performance bring you to tears?

It brought me to tears because it reminds us that we are so vulnerable and emotional- so utterly human.

*

For more information…

Henry David Thoreau…http://www.walden.org/thoreau

Marina Abramović …http://www.marinaabramovicinstitute.org/

http://marinafilm.com/about-marina-abramovic

VAST…http://vast.me/

*

Peace & Namaste…

Reflection for today…Questioning Identity -Tilda Swinton

21 Apr

“I’m basically interested in identity, and I still find fascinating the question,

how do we identify ourselves, and how do we settle into other people’s expectations for our identity?”

Tilda Swinton

 

Tilda channels David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust alter ego…

Tilda is a Rebel Rebel…

Tilda is a huge David Bowie Fan…

“The other day, I was going through the airport security and I was searched by a male security guard. I’m very often referred to as “Sir” in elevators and such. I think it has to do with being this tall and not wearing much lipstick. I think people just can’t imagine I’d be a woman if I look like this.”

“You’re always playing yourself.
It’s all autobiography, whatever you’re doing.
It’s using them as a kind of prism through which to throw something real about yourself, or something relaxed at least.
Because the last thing you want is to look like you’re acting.”

Tilda Swinton in Candy Magazine

Tilda is a Futuristic Cosmic Mermaid…

Tilda as a Cosmic Space Goddess…

Tilda Laughs At The Status Quo…

Tilda Transforms Through Make-up Artistry…

“These photographic performances and the opportunity they afford me to play with the shapes and attitudes of this lexicon are thrilling to me.”

*

Tilda Swinton is a brilliant actress and performer {one of my favourites}.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J2Zajvjm4LI

She has performed “the maybe” where she sleeps in a glass cage for performance art.

Tilda’s recent performance at MOMA {Museum of Modern Art}…

Tilda is a fascinating artist and human being.

“It’s a real comfort zone for me to feel alien.”

It should come to no surprise that she is a writer.

If you have ever hear her speak, you will be struck with her grace, intelligence and eloquence.

Her natural beauty radiates outwards.

*

Tilda tends to favor a more natural and androgynous look.

The pictures from Candy magazine depict her in drag make-up.

These pictures are in juxtaposition with her usual natural aesthetic.

Scottish actress Tilda Swinton relishes in androgyny, artistry and creativity…

*

Tilda is so intriguing to me not only as an actress/artist but as a thinker and human being.

She says that a recurring theme in her work is the question of identity and the question of transformation.

Tilda Swinton in W Magazine {August 2011}

In this clip, she discusses identity and transformation….

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vEIFzoBgNe8

“Society circumscribes us and we play into this feeling that we have to pick one identity and stick with it and any natural transformation within our spirit is to be resisted at all costs.

If there is some great shift in someone’s life one is to feel nothing, but shame and failure, that’s the thing I am constantly drawn back to.”

“There is something insane about a lack of doubt. Doubt, to me anyway, is what makes you human, and without doubt even the righteous lose their grip not only on reality but also on their humanity.”

What keeps her engaged in performing and acting is the moment of shift and doubt in one’s identity.

“There’s such an effort to try and explain people.”

Tilda Removes The Wig/Veil/Metaphorical Mask…

Tilda The Transformer…

*

Gender, identity and beauty are such an intriguing topics which I hope to explore in future posts.

“Tilda does not always play women; she has played Mozart on stage, an Elizabethan nobleman in Orlando (1992) and an androgynous angel, Gabriel, in Constantine (2005).”
-Internet Movie Database

*

Please enjoy the fascinating video of master make-up artist Joseph Harwood as he transforms himself from a male/androgynous appearance into a female appearance.

{Joseph really shows us how make-up is art and how you can express yourself and construct our own identity}.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oBxGwTEc0AQ

Joseph answers questions about androgyny and gender…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1cAYU7D0wfY

To watch more of Joseph’s make-up artistry videos…

http://www.youtube.com/user/jhmemoires

For more information on Joseph Harwood…

http://www.josephharwood.com/

*

Please enjoy David Bowie’s new song “The Stars Are Out Tonight”…

Tilda Swinton & David Bowie…An Artistic Dream…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gH7dMBcg-gE

*

I am most grateful for a class I took called “sociology of gender relations” because it enlightened me about gender.

This class also brought to my awareness the struggles of women, gay people, transgendered people and other types of minorities.

More than anything this class convinced me that everyone deserves equality, there needs to be more love, compassion and acceptance in the world and that we should collectively fight discrimination of all kinds.

*

For more information on…

Tilda Swinton…

Tilda and Bjork…

please visit her internet movie database page…

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0842770/

Twitter…https://twitter.com/NotTildaSwinton

David Bowie…http://www.davidbowie.com/

*

I would love to read your thoughts on this post or about gender, identity, androgyny and/or beauty.

What are your favourite Tilda Swinton performances/films?

What are your favourite David Bowie songs/albums and alter egos?

What are your alter egos?

Tilda Swinton…a brilliant artist/actress/chameleon

Peace & Namaste…