Pop Culture
Jan 20, 2018, 07:00AM

What Am I Supposed to Be Doing?

A 2017 Interview magazine interview with feminist icon Judy Chicago vs. a 2017 Vulture interview with jazz icon Sonny Rollins.

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Sonny Rollins: During the concert, I’d been trying to work on some musical passages, and after it was over, when everybody was leaving, I was in my dressing room trying to work out this little passage.

Judy Chicago: There were about 20 students, and we turned the house into the first major feminist art installation.

Rollins: What am I supposed to be doing? I was just looking for a place to practice.

Chicago: For that, you need a huge apparatus of support.

Rollins:  Oh God, always. I believe that.


Chicago: Which leads me to a question to perfectly end this conversation: You once asked me what I would do if all monetary and geographic limits were lifted.

Rollins: If I’d do my part, the universe would do its part.

Chicago: The first step is freeing oneself from the prison of that gaze.

Rollins: Period. But I eventually came out of my depression when I realized that rather than being depressed I should be grateful.

Chicago: I mean, what kind of courage did it take to stand up to that?


Rollins: But hey, that’s what life is: You mess up, and you try to become aware.

Chicago: I only found that out later.

Rollins: See? [Laughs] Right.

Chicago: How are you?

Rollins: That’s complicated.


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