Fear of Answers

The Fun Club are in the process of making work, and that process includes several sharings in front of our peers. These sharings are accompanied by feedback sessions. Our peers take time to respond to our work and offer criticism (both positive and negative).

These sharings often spew up a great deal of questions.

From these we discover that there are a few questions that strike fear into the heart of an artist, and they are perhaps not the ones you would expect. Maybe, you would expect the sweat inducing questions to be “How are you going to pay for your rent?” or “Will you ever get married?“… Scary enough, for sure, but the questions that really make this artist’s bum squeak are:

What is your art practice?
What does your work mean?
Who are you?

As MA students we face our allodoxaphobia head on. We joke that it is like INCEPTION; you receive feedback on feedback, after lectures on feedback. This feedback, and the opinions of your peers become as regular as hot dinners (the edible sort, not the other sort).

Of course enissophobia is not specific to artists, but who else faces the level and constancy of criticism that we do in the arts? Beyond the walls of academia the arts are under constant review; being asked to validate art itself – prove you are worth funding, ticket sales, support and belief. Prove that you have earned your place as an artist.

And so the question of “what is your art practice?”

Are we alone in our silent response of “f*ck*d if I know?!” This is not a response born out of lack of direction, or commitment to our art practice. Instead, perhaps it is about decidophobia. There are so many options and variations that we are exploring right now – our art practice is sprawling, growing, evolving.

“What does your work mean?”

Great question, and one that our ataxophobia would greatly appreciate an answer to. We are confronting our chorophobia (or, at least two of us are), we’re not sure if we like being laughed at, and we definitely all have more than a little kakorrhaphiophobia.

“Who are you?”

Mother of… who really knows the answer to this? Our phronemophobia rolls up like a spiky mammal at the mere mention of defining ourselves. Unless you are Grayson Perry, do any of us really know who we are yet?

You might read this and think “you fools, you are giving in to your symbolophobia”. And you would probably be right. But, maybe any of our peers macrophobia should no longer be the reason for us rushing an answer. We have time, and time will help us to figure out the answers that we are fearful of.

I end with the divine ridiculousness of hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia: the fear of long words. The thing that describes the thing you are scared of, is the the thing that you are scared of. Inception complete.

Glossary of fear:
Allodoxaphobia – fear of opinions
Anuptaphobia – Fear of staying single
Ataxophobia – Fear of disorder or untidiness
Cenophobia or Centophobia – Fear of new things or ideas
Chorophobia – Fear of dancing
Decidophobia – Fear of making decisions
Enosiophobia or Enissophobia – Fear of having committed an unpardonable sin or of criticism
Gelotophobia – Fear of being laughed at
Hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia – Fear of long words
Kakorrhaphiophobia – Fear of failure or defeat
Katagelophobia – Fear of ridicule
Macrophobia – Fear of long waits
Onomatophobia – Fear of hearing a certain word or of names
Panophobia or Pantophobia – Fear of everything
Phronemophobia – Fear of thinking
Sophophobia – Fear of learning
Symbolophobia – Fear of symbolism

Complete list of fears source:

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