'Free Solo', Art and God



I've watched National Geographic Oscar winning movie, 'Free Solo' that follows Alex Honnold, a professional rock climber, in his journey to conquer El-Capitans' 900 Meter Mountain in solo climbing - AKA NO ROPES!

When first hearing about this sport, my reaction was 'What the fuck?!' I never comprehended the need to practice extreme sports, and that's exactly the reason I went on watching the movie.

Throughout the film you get to know Alex and his way of thinking and feeling, and well... Basically you understand that the one absolute thing on his mind is climbing, rocks, mountains, the many calculations needs to be done in order to climb them and practice.

We get a glimpse to his first-ever working relationship with Sanni and their unique communication with one another. As it is seems, due to his personal history and unique character, Alex doesn't seem to communicate his feelings very well.

At one point he even mentions the 'L' word, which refers to Love, almost as if it was a course or a sacred word, depends on how you choose to look at it.

At another point of the movie Alex's brain is scanned to check his reaction to fear, only to find out he almost doesn't have one.

The man is a machine like.

But for me the highlight of the movie was the moment he speaks about Sanni and their different approach to life, explaining that Sanni, like many people, looks for happiness in life, reaching for that goal, while he's looking for performance. Going on saying how nothing ever good and transforming comes out of being comfortable and happy.

That sentence was my very precise feeling towards making art. There's no happiness in it, not for too long at least. You're in a constant chase to better your performance. What makes it so complex is that it doesn't rely only on technique.

For Alex, the situation where he needs to be perfect, or else he'll fall to his doom, makes it the perfect way of performing.

Of course, that was only the theoretical pick, the more physical one, which made your heart loose a bit, was to watch him spider his way to the top.

While watching him getting prepared, living in a small humble caravan near site, not having a "real" apartment or home, when during the movie he and Sanni making the big step purchasing their first home together, and just generally having only what he needs, living the most minimalist life, to the point of asceticism, where only one thing matters.

Even choosing this kind of sport, where no equipment is required, made every sense. It's just you and the mountain, and maybe god.

For a while now I've been wondering about those who are focused on that one thing, taking it to its fullest depth. For me, this attribute always relates to a very Jewish attitude towards life. The first religion to clame monotheism, and by that changed the world.

One god, One way.

I've always secretly envied people with this nature, as I've always found myself wanting to do everything from everything, to know everything, experience everything, especially when it comes to art, I want to paint, to sculpt, make videos, graphics... I want to write and make music, dance. And everything comes in so many different styles, that usually contradict one another, finding the balance between them seems to be a difficult task. It may be a very reach inner world, but a very confusing one as well, but mostly it might lead to not going into the deepest waters of any genre or medium.

Maybe it's due to the fact that I'm not very sure in the existence of any god at all, or the questioning of why we should worship one if it does exist, that contributes to this sort of multiple thinking. Lately a silly thought went through my mind that before the idea of one god, there was the idea of many gods and goddesses, and maybe there's been this one, very smart and somewhat megalomaniac god who asked to be one of a kind, and choose himself the people who'll follow this idea, and by doing so, almost deleted the rest of the gods out there with his charismatic idea.

I don't know where I'm going with this thought, but I know do know that up till now my nature is multiple, and while I'll always have a huge amount of respect to those with the idea of one, I also think it requires a sort of wildness I just don't own. Maybe one day in the future I will. But I would wish it to arrive from a very whole, healthy and soft part of my soul.


In the picture below; Artwork by Gilles et Pierre's Jesus.

In their kitsch way of showing the most popular symbol of suffering for redemption.



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