The Artist’s Work
The artist’s work, like the migrant laborer’s, requires intention. It requires will. The artist must want to achieve her end.
The artist’s work requires effort. It demands exertion. The artist, like the teamster or the arc-welder, must summon her resources, mental as well as physical, and apply them in the direction of the task she wishes to accomplish.
The artist’s labor, like the coal miner’s, is enacted in the teeth of active resistance. As the seam of anthracite fights against being broken apart and extracted, so the choreographer’s vision of movement resists her conceiving it, grasping it, enacting it.
The artist’s toil, like the stevedore’s, requires patience and perseverance. It demands effort over time. The artist must return day after day, week after week, to her task.
The artist’s work involves risk. Failure. Exposure. A dream crushed.
The artist’s labor requires courage. It demands grit and guts. The artist digs like a miner. The artist erects like a stonemason. The artist hunts, the artist fishes, the artist plants and plows, the artist tends, the artist harvests.
Everything the artist does has its parallel in physical labor.
The only difference is the artist’s workplace is her imagination. Her toil is mental. Her field and factory reside in her head.