1: Embracing Mediocrity, by Sónia Barreiro and Jasmine Børresen
"Storming a breach, conducting and embassy, ruling a nation are glittering deeds. Rebuking, laughing, buying, selling, loving, hating and living together gently and justly with your household - and with yourself - not getting slack nor belying yourself, is something more remarkable, more rare and more difficult. Whatever people may say, such secluded lives sustain in that way duties which are at least as hard and as tense as those of other lives."
- Michel de Montaigne
Many of us walk the earth with a feeling that, in order to be acceptable, we need to be something very special. It sounds like ambition, but it’s closer to neurosis.
Our societies are predictably lacking in inspiring images of good enough ordinary lives. Popular culture tend to associate these with being a loser. We imagine that a quiet life is something that only a failed person without options would ever seek. We are drawn to the idea of having international exhibitions, galleries, grants, house in France, all-you-can-drink wine, no depression, stable relationship, yet working 24/7. The attractions are sometimes perfectly real, and we want it. I mean, a house in the south of France, come on! But the added effect is to instill in us the idea that our own lives, without it, must be close to worthless.
And yet there may be massive skill, joy and virtue involved in what we are up to. In having enough, being enough, having a balanced work and studio life, a personal and a social life.