Thursday, March 26, 2009

Manifesting Success


Manifesting Success is a look at the projected notions of material success commonly portrayed in contemporary media. The image of success according to the material standards of popular media is ever-present and can be personified in the likeness of the motivational speaker character in its many forms. The activities of the Motivational Speaker increase in difficult times, giving the masses a message of hope; temporarily filling the void that many feel exist in their lives. Discontentment, disillusionment, and despair provide the motivational speaker with an audience and a steady flow of income. Historically, these figures utilized religion and spirituality to inspire the downtrodden with a message of hope. Today, with the success of films such as The Secret, we are seeing a resurgence of these figures preaching on a plethora of topics from sales, marketing, spirituality, health and fitness, and even a combination of them all. From Deepak Chopra to Anthony Robbins, we are being sold the ideal of a better, happier, and more successful us.

For this performance I have created a video of myself playing the role of a Motivational Speaker character named Jay Fielding. Jay Fielding is inspiring his audience to “take action” and create opportunities for themselves to achieve financial independence. Ironically, Jason Fielding, is an actor playing the part of the motivational speaker and is an artist without financial independence. I will also be in the audience, dressed like Jay Fielding, on my knees, writing notes, worshipping, and trying to emulate the image on the screen. I will then become Jay Fielding and hand out my business cards to the audience members. This work is investigating the cultural role of the teacher/speaker/guru and also examining the relationship of the artist to the market.

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