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.
floating in the safety
dreams of thick forests
the mystery of childhood
lives coming to an end
a wall behind
i am not allowed to look
an emptiness that smells
bridging the distance
to feel real
the threat of freedom
What are experience that I cannot write about online worth?
What are pictures that I never show worth?
Do they benefit me in one way or another?
I want to be online less, much less, but whenever I consider being really offline I feel some kind of strange emptiness, a feeling of uselessness. What and who am I when I cannot share what I see, experience and make?
Maybe the way for me is to accept that I like putting my thoughts, pictures, ideas, words out there. And that it is part of who I am and how I function.
And that, on the other hand, I could very well be more offline by reducing the time I spend online as a reflex, a way of avoiding being present, a way to cope with potentially embarrassing or awkward situations, as a means to escape the sometimes really ugly physical reality I am in.
Stop that and see what is really going on around me.
I believe that the possibility to escape our mobile devices give us are the reason so few people notice what is going on around them and don´t care anymore, as a means of escape is always available. I wonder if, for example, people would care more how their neighbourhood looks and the state of public transport and the shocking transformation and destruction of nature, etc. etc. if their means of escape would suddenly disappear and we all had to cope with what really is, here, in the physical reality we are very much part of …
Black cat, Paros, 2017
Everything I worked on this summer somehow disappeared or fell through … In a way it makes me laugh, all this effort and stress, all for nothing … or not really, but almost. My works that I sewed for Fotonoviembre, nobody knows where they are, they seemed to have vanished at the customs in Teneriffa, my application for funing on which I worked hard, made videos and works for: nobody seems to understand what it is about and I have been advised to re-write, find more sponors and re-aply next year.
I wonder if aynone realises what my work implies, how much time, passion, thought, reflection, mental and physical effort it takes, not to speak of the financial invenstments that go into such work? To be then lost or easily dismissed in a way that makes me laugh in disbelief.
But. It shook somehting lose in me. I don´t care anymore. And I am free now. To do exactly as I please, to be exactly whom I want to be.
I do not belong to anyone.
The day before yesterday I went to the sauna, lying there in a red light, sweating and breathing in fragrant hot air, listening to but not understanding two big russian speaking women, I felt good and live and wild and free again. And I know that all will be fine and that this needed to happen and actually I somehow feel relieved.