Wednesday, October 19, 2011

love will tear us apart

The title of a song by Joy Division written by Ian Curtis – a poignant message about a contradiction which often leads to disaster. The contradiction which causes mood swings, from euphoria, happiness, fulfilment, closeness to depression, self-destruction, burn-out, suicide. With my roots in the culture in which I was born, I repeat the hackneyed thesis about the duality of human nature, its contradictory character, inconsistency, illogicality which evades all rational attempts at description. While working on the project Love will tear us apart I tried, juxtaposing seemingly incidental fragments of the puzzle, to show a situation when one “stands straddled”, when nothing is known, when the attempt to rationalize emotion fails. A state in between. The reduction of means I relied on (perhaps the showy, electronic staffage) is intended, as is usual in these cases, to sharpen the conveyed meanings. It is my hope that they will not become an implication of emptiness.
The project consists of three threads. Here follows their brief description:
The words of a children’s counting rhyme were supplemented by some other rhymes: loves likes respects doesn’t want doesn’t care makes fun beats kicks strangles pulls ridicules and spits*. Repeated ad infinitum. This produced the scribbles on the wall and a video.
As I once lay in the bath, submerging my head under the surface of the water, I became engrossed in the sound of the thumping washing machine. I found the sound so penetrating that I recorded it, not knowing whether and when it might come handy. It did. Another video in which hardly anything happens.
Trying to bring the contradiction in my head to order, I arranged words in mutually exclusive pairs, which represent an opposition: come – go, near – far, warm – cold, emptiness – fullness, passion – inertia, euphoria – apathy, up – down, I am – I am not. I wondered what associations these notions may evoke, so I asked friends of mine about it. It turned out (quite predictably) that the point of view depends on culture in which a given person was brought up. For example, for a Japanese there is no contradiction, no mutual strife, only two facets of the same thing, unopposed but complementing one another. For a Jew, the contradictions stem from the sin committed by the human. For a Mexican they were points among which the human bumps along walking through life like a drunken child in the fog. For a Quebec Canadian contradictions do not exists at all, there are only different paths leading to the same place. Iranian did not understand my question. He only stated the associations related with individual words.
Naturally, I am aware that this sort of quasi-sociological research is by no means conclusive. Nevertheless, I was left with a fascinating collection of images and words, which I think deserve to be presented.
Most probably, the Love will tear us apart project will not solve anything, does not contribute anything new; besides, as usual, I did not aspire to be a discoverer of lands unknown. It is just plain struggle dressed up in a form, so as to let the inner sounds out.

*Polish version of the she loves me, she loves me not daisy game  

2011 - love will tear us apart, m2 Gallery, Warsaw (PL) 

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