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 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 …
As a kid, late at night, when I couldn’t sleep, I tried to do something which now I can only describe as “going back in the mind”. I tried to go back to where everything began, and with everything I mean exactly that. Me, life, the universe. Everything.
I asked myself questions and tried to find ever more complex answers. Why am I here, what is this place, this house, this village, this country, this planet, this universe, it was, now that I think of it, more of a zooming out then a going back. And, lying there in the dark, in my bed, in this house, in this village, on this planet, every so often I would arrive at something that felt like a thick black wall. And that thick black wall was in my head. And I knew that behind the wall lay all the answers. And that I could get there. But I also knew that I, as a human being, would be annihilated once I got behind this wall, pulverised, that my human mind would blow the moment I would finally be in the know. It would kill me.
I can still remember how that felt and I am still unable to describe it. .
I feel I haven´t made anything worthwhile in such a long time. Lacking concentration. And I feel constantly torn between different projects, different ideas, the urge to make new things, and the need to get some order in the old work …
I wonder what could help me get back on track? Or on a new track? What would I do if I had no money worries? What would be the first thing I would make? Where would I go? What would I read?
What if I would do really what I like? And not care what “the others” think? That is the real question. Money is nothing if I don´t feel myself? Nothing. It would be wasted. What do I want? What moves me, inspires me, makes me want to make more … makes me want to spend all my time working?
That is the question I need to answer now. And forget about everything else.
… aus aktuellem Anlass …
and some “nicer” collages to balance things out … (all from 2005)
I spent the last couple of days going through old files … and among other things I realized that my artistic practice, this artistic practice is 10 years old … I began making this kind of photographic work in 2005 …
But I always also did other things like these digital collages from 2005.
Looking back and realising what I have made until now is something I have never done before, always busy with the net thing … but since a year or two I have become more restless then inspired and felt often that I had lost touch with my artistic roots and my sources of inspiration and event though some work felt more or less right, much of it didn´t. Now, looking back on my work from the “first years” I feel a freshness that I now sometimes lack, due to pressure to produce, pressure to stay faithful to my style (the worst kind of self censorship), pressure to please those who have bought some of my work … pressure to stay up to date … I have more technical knowledge now and a cleaner and leaner style … but somehow I feel I need to find a new connection to myself, new deep inspiration and a real urge to communicate my visions again …
I wonder if it is possible to re-invent myself in order to become myself again.
Es geht alles etwas langsamer diese Tage …
Mir ist gestern aufgefallen, dass mir das sehr gut gefällt.
Für wen und warum hetzte ich eigentlich sonst so rum? Bringt mir das etwas? Fühle ich mich gut dabei? Macht es mich glücklich, erfolgreich, wichtig?
Einfach mal wieder atmen, nichts machen, schauen und sehen. iphone in der Tasche lassen. Schauen wie die Welt ausserhalb des Bildschirms so aussieht.
I needed a break.
I took one.
The darkness is over. The world feels less harsh and hostile, my winter clothes finally feel wrong and there are colors other then gray again …
Two weeks holiday, sunshine, light, nature, sea and being outside helped.
The first three months of this year felt heavy, difficult, cold and unforgiving. But they were important, a transition that was necessary to properly finish what I had stared last year, and what didn´t turn out the way I wanted it, but then that´s the risk of art. Of life.
Dare I say I am feeling more calm, optimistic even? Or maybe that is to big a word. Changes, and the hope of feeling alive again. Like waking up from a daze. Not fully awake yet, but getting there. Breathing. Daring to be.
The pictures are from a walk through Berlin Wedding yesterday. I am finally giving up the apartment i rented there since 2009. A period comes to an end. Opportunities not taken, lives not lived, pain and loss, but also the discovery of a different self, the coming to terms with who I am and what I can only find in myself and may not look for in others …
a balcony picture sneaked in …
I began re-reading all the posts I have put on here since last year November. And, apart from other things, I am rather shocked at how many typos I managed not to see …
Writing and clicking „publish“ without even spell checking first is typical of me when I feel insecure about the things I write. And then what happens is exactly what I am afraid of: sloppy posts.
In between looking for a new studio and moving out of my old one and getting used to Berlin life again, I am putting together a little „book“ with a selection of posts from this blog, with additional photos and maybe some texts. It´s a way of understanding what I did and why, and also why I didn’t do some things I had initially planned on doing.
It is also a way of staying in the „working mode“ I have gotten used to during my residency.
PARIS, I MISS YOU.