“I took inspiration for my recent work, The Analogy Trilogy, from W.G. Sebald’s book The Emigrants, in which he describes memory as viewing things from a great height.
“The analogy is about looking, thinking, associating and, consciously or not, comparing. My piece takes three personalities, each of whom have had a traumatic experience, and drills down into their stories. Each one in its own way is asking ‘what is a life well-lived?’ and ‘what is the meaning in living?’
“In this time of political correctness, one can still be fierce, one can still be extremely personal, and one can still dare believe in beauty. An artist should be the freest of anyone in the society. An artist should be thumbing their nose at all received wisdom. An artist should be sometimes literally running naked through the streets. Young dancers would ask me ‘how much freedom can you have?’ You can have as much freedom as you’re willing to die for.”
About the Artist
Bill T. Jones, a member of the Academy, is a dancer, choreographer, and co-founder of the Bill T. Jones / Arnie Zane Company. The recent documentary Can You Bring It: Bill T. Jones and D-Man in the Waters, directed by Tom Hurwitz and Rosalynde Leblanc, explores the legacy of a dance piece Jones created at the height of the AIDS crisis.
Commission on the Arts
The Commission - drawing on the expertise of its members who are artists, scholars, activists, and leaders, as well as the input of people across the country who participated in listening sessions - dedicated itself to recognizing and supporting the essential role of the arts and artists in American life.