this picture is so old that I do not even remember it’s title …
One thing I have learned from going through old work is that I have always had short periods where I made really good work followed by much longer periods of mediocre, boring or downright bad work … Sometimes I have to check the dates on the files twice because I couldn’ t believe that I could make something that bad after having made some really interesting pictures … If this has been my rhythm for more then ten years, maybe I should stop panicking when I have a “dry spell” and allow myself to live and experience the world and actually fill my brain and my soul with new life instead of staring at a screen or forcing myself to do the same things over and over again.
During the last couple of years my life has become more and more organized, I have taken over responsibilites for jobs outside of my art practice due to my need for money combined with the general consensus that artists do not earn money with their art (says who, and why do I believe this?) and have somehow ended up being the one taking care of most of the household, cats and garden … All of this leaves me with little to no time to do things that I like doing , just for the sake of doing them … this means that more often then not I feel totally completely uninspired, mentally bored … and seriously frustrated.
And I am still poor.
And I have no idea how to break out of this.
going through my old pictures, trying to figure out what I like about them, what drove me to make them, what I would improve today and what I can learn from them for future works …
This is a picture from 2007, one I do not even remember to have made. I like it, the colors are great, I like the slightly surreal feel of it, the fog, the silhoutte in the background. It`s dreamlike and to me it evokes feeling of freedom and open possibilites, all the while being also a bit threatening and maybe futuristic …
I do remember 2007 as a period of great productivity, my studio was a small dark cold room in a bigger studio I shared with my then husband in the Danziger Strasse. There was no heating and the small electrical heater I had combined with a hot large sweet milky coffee helped me to work with intense focus for a couple of hours before my hands and everything else was so cold I had to go home … Still, good memories and a beginning of liberation.
How to live without social media?
How to take back control in our lives?
How to use the internet as a tool and not be its slave? How to create content and read content and find content that is worth seeing, reading , creating?
How to escape the trap of FOMO, the trap of having to be one of the “early adopters”, the trap of thinking we need to create content for other people´s platforms, content with which other people will make money … all for some vague promise of fame and money. That will hardly ever materialise.
People work so hard on their social media profiles in order to get the followers they so desperately need, want, think they want… no one in their right mind would work for free in a normal job in a company worth unimaginable amounts of money … and help them make even more … but we all do, because we all bought into the “you have to do this in order to …. “, we adapt, we create not because we wish to create but because we think this will make us more likeable and we fear we will miss on out on …. something. The thing is, we do miss out. On our lives. We are being manipulated in quite an unprecedented way, although we have uncountable sources of information, we chose to read what Facebook algorithms serves us … not a good way to learn to think for ourselves.
How can we find a way to reclaim our lives, to use our technologies for our own good without falling into the traps that we encounter all the time? How to re-learn how to live?
Ok, let´s make this more personal: I check my phone all the time, social media especially. And there is hardly ever anything of interest on it. My Instagram profile(s) do not get more then 20 likes, whatever I post, no one reads my blog, and I hardly get any e-mails, except ads and mails from mailing lists. And the only Facebook likes I get are those after I post a picture of myself.
So, today, I decided to get rid of this addiction, the social media addiction. I am glad to say that I checked only three times, until now, nearly at 9 p.m. in the evening. It feels a bit strange, but it also feels incredibly liberating.
I spent this day going through my DVDs and data CDs … thousands of pictures … I put them on external hard drives and then destroy the DVDs … that feels good … and then I accompanied C. into the cellar … and we began cleaning it out as well … I destroyed all my old diaries, after realising that I have been writing the same old stuff over and over again. Depressing. It felt good to say goodbye to those old thoughts, old fears, old hopes.
… I went for a run afterwards…. short … but the first one in quite a while. Freed myself from being so annoyed at the competitive running everyone seems to be doing at the moment that I gave up running myself. I used to love it, the exploration of the city while running through its streets …
To be continued.
old pictures from 2005 (Weissensee and Lichtenberg)
How to escape the time narrative?
The time frame that makes days and weeks and months, the one that talks about a beginning, a middle and an end, the one that asks for a story to be quest, the one that does not allow things to flow in an irregular and natural rhythm.
I like new beginnings, but I dislike having to start over again every morning, go through the same / similar rituals, have the day begin and the day grow a bit stale even before I manage to get back into that flow of energy I was in the day before and then having to switch to “end of day” mode again before something really good had a chance to grow.
I have no idea how to change this, but I long for days that feel like one, where my creative energy simply continues, where sleep is part of the same energy, where I can go on once I am awake without the interruption of “a new day, thus a repetition of the same structure then yesterday” .
I wish I´d find a way to break free from this idea of separation … I love sleep, I love sleeping and I do not mind interrupting my “flow” by sleep, because it usually does not interrupt anything at all, but I feel frustrated and sad by the idea of separating the flow of time into these highly structured and institutionalised time-units.
I could never understand when a friend insisted that Sundays are for certain activities and not for others and on Mondays, even though you are a free lancer with little work, you are not allowed to go for a walk in glorious sunny weather, just because it is Monday and one does not do that on a work day.
I am all for the protection of “free time” for people in 9to5(6,7,8,9) jobs but I do feel this urge to free myself from applying the week-narrative of our society to my life. It cuts short everything that is worth working for, worth creating, worth thinking about and separates us from our own feeling of time. And it is a great tool for time wasters how can fill in the short time-units with loads of ego-heavy-good-for-nothing meetings and the like.
There are time structures that I like and that I find easy to respect, but those are ones that I chose myself and they give my time a rhythm and an anchor that I do need, and I am pretty sure that everyone needs and wants those in one way or another. I am simply questioning the one we have now and that most of us accept as “god-given” without ever questioning whether it does us any good, or who profits the most from it …
My father sent me this picture three years ago.
The little girl in the middle is my paternal grand-mother Marguerite Keip, standing between her parents. The boy on the right is her brother Jos who became a taylor and lived in Erpeldange, the little girl behind my great-grandmother is her sister Elise who lived in Schieren, and on the left her sister Beb who died in hospital in Ettelbruck …
As far as I know, my grand-mother was born in Gilsdorf in 1915.
In a couple of days I will be in Luxembourg, and more information on what I intend to do with this look into the past will follow …
I took a crappy selfie today to send my girlfriend a picture of my haircut … and just found another one from 2005 … that one obviously taken with a real camera.
And yes, iphone picture might look o.k. on instagram but they remain low quality shitty pictures, and no, that does not have to do anything with the fact that I do look ten years older then I did, well, 10 years ago …
But, 2005 was a rather good year for me as far as I had “good” years … I then began to really develop my art practice and what I still do today comes from what I began then … I lost my way rather a lot in the meantime, but my art is the thing that remains a constant, even if it often felt threatened by the opinion and the judgment of others.
Writing this reminds me to keep it safe from outside “attacks” (they can be positive in meaning and still influence me too much) and fresh in me and to stay free in what I make.
Maybe I need to sometimes remind others that my art is part of me and if they bulldoze over it or disrespect it, it really is me that that they are treating this way.
You don´t have to love or even like or understand what I do, but it does help if you intend to be friends with me …
… aus aktuellem Anlass …
and some “nicer” collages to balance things out … (all from 2005)
The first picture is of my Grandmother, and her parents. My great-grandparents. I only know my great grandmother, she died age 84 in 1977 …
This picture was taken somewhere in France by my Grandfather. Where exactly I don´t know. While I was looking at it I noticed how much alike my Grandmother and her mother look, the clothes, the expression and the body posture …. not the same, but very similar.
The other two picture are of my mother, also somewhere in France, also before I was born, taken by my father …. I sense a certain tension in the picture, they are posed, as if the person taking the picture took to long in order to take a picture that was supposed to be natural.
I wonder in how far the postures we take are something we inherit …
The last picture was taken in the US in 1981, see how much my Mom and I “look” alike …. the same posture ….