We keep telling stories throughout our lives – our media, our books, our heads are full of them.
Some of these tales are not even obvious, such as instructions of use, press releases or even law texts. Yet, through their very existence, they create or reinforce worlds of meaning supporting the world of a specific institution or country. As such, they tell stories and are tales.
Then, there are all the other tales, the obvious ones – they can be as short as the three words in a Zen poem or as vast as a two hundred page novel, as colourful as a mask, as discreet as a sigh or as stunning as the perfect arabesque of a dancer. Each one of them gives rise to emotions in us, holds up a mirror to our dreams and acts as a foil to our fears and aversions.
Whereas publicity always places us under dynamic tension to move us to buy, the purpose of literature and art – when they are not directly linked to business or ideological interests – is to freeze images for the reader, the beholder or the spectator.
They create pauses, when our gaze and our thoughts turn away from the many tales unfolding in and around us – more often than not building layer upon layer of unconscious story-telling.
When we accept to genuinely experience art, we delve consciously into – slightly – off-beat worlds that send us back to reality, inducing a sense of distance and a reflection on who we truly are.
The play with words, forms and sounds is never insignificant.