Monthly Archives: November 2016

Palimpsest

Palimpsest – Bringing Hidden Stories to Light! 

I always had a yearning for hidden stories. Therefore I knew instantly that I wanted to contribute to the ‘Palimpsest’ exhibition – exhibitions.weebly.com/palimpsest-2016.html (also in previous blog post), organised by Artcatcher Katja Rosenberg and co. The exhibition’s subtitle is ‘Bringing Hidden Stories to Light’ because a palimpsest is a text

that has been written over another text in a book: so one story has been written on top of

another, meaning that the previous story disappears unless you scrape off the new text in order to see the old text. Interestingly, the subtitle Bringing Hidden Stories to Light has become the title of my work for the show!

Palimpsest will be opening Thursday the 24th November 2016 in the Warehouse of the old Chocolate factory Lammert (what a sweet idea!) in Bad Oyenhausen, Germany, and run until Sunday the 27th. Apart from lots of great art works, there’s a musical and performance programme alongside the show as well, have a look!

Light onto hidden stories! So why did I always love this theme? One answer would be that there were a lot of hidden things in my childhood, hence my interest in ‘going there’: to this hidden world, this world of all things and stories in the shadow: shadow existences, alternative but un-pursued possibilities, neglected ontologies, things in the gaps and on the off-beat, among the out-casted and forgotten. In this way, my interest gave me access to a lot of things beyond general notice, almost another dimension, an Other World.

Where psychology points to a picture of the hard-to-access world of the shadow, or the feared access to the world of the subconscious, I felt at home here: this is where I wanted to be, this is where my sensitivities and sensibilities have always been.

An interest for the ‘different story’ and/or a ‘different interpretation, the search for taboos: this was not just a personal space. It was – and is – a political space too: what, for example, if Africa hadn’t been exploited, if colonialism hadn’t happened, if no enslavement had taken place, if the world had listened to humanity instead! So I like this otherness, I like it if some things could have been different; I like to remind of the possibilities that we had and that we have. It’s nice to be able to think differently, to encourage otherness, difference, diversity, possibilities, opportunities, expanded   horizons!

So here I am, revelling in lighting up the shadows, taking the palimpsest as a metaphor for liberating the unknown and oppressed. Hidden stories arise! Africa, come back up, reside in people’s minds instead of being stored away in unconsciousness, inequality, go away, for we need to see clearly now and look beneath the surface, let’s face it! I think it’s a method to bring about justice!

I hope that this important exhibition might be extended or travel, it will be on show from the 24th until the 27th November, but could travel thereafter! Some pieces might be sold, or maybe a lot gets sold, but even so, the remaining pieces could go travelling, to keep up the idea of bringing to light what’s hidden, like an archaeologist too, to speak out, to stand up, to look around, to see, to discover…………… to go further……… to be continued! (I have given an ‘idea intro’ to this topic in my previous post The Beauty of the Shadow, and I will continue this long story too: this post is only the middle-step, to coincide with the exhibition-dates).

 

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The Beauty of the Shadow

The Beauty of the Shadow + the Palimpsest Exhibition

Shadows are evidence of light. Shadows are normal, casual, they arise with the light, and with our environment, as an interaction, a dialogue, with us and what surrounds us. Shadows are also things unknown, stories untold, histories hidden. Shadows are also spaces unlit, repressed, neglected, behind, beyond, denied and spaces of knowledge untapped: ontologies of darker places, inscribed or embodied: shadows sometimes like what’s below the tip of the iceberg, or shadows like palimpsests!

It’s surprising to me why the shadow gets such a negative press: its outlines look so beautiful! Psychologist C.G. Jung famously thought of one’s shadow – the shadow aspect of one’s personality – as negative. And I am kind of upset about this idea, because the shadow is part of our unconscious, but why must that be negative? I am intrigued about my unconscious, so I treasure it. It’s an inner land I love exploring.

Innerland: it’s an inner land, an intriguing inner land, and I am inquisitive about it! Innerland: it’s me immediate environment, the depth of my soul, and my further reaches too! It’s the places I journey to, especially in my creative times and in the night, in my dreams. Innerland a Dreamland!

Self-extensions: the shadow is a self-extension, shadows self-extensions, and I think we are richer for it. If we were just made up of what we know we wouldn’t have much depth and far fewer mysteries to discover.

Movements: I’ve just moved house once again and I see an analogy here: as I was packing my stuff into boxes there was a lot to pack which I never use or which I had forgotten about, yet it’s not stuff I want to throw away. It’s nourishing for me when I rediscover what I have and so I fill box upon box like my stuff are my self-extensions! There is some stuff I throw away (not because I dislike it but because it’s too much for practicalities) but most of my stuff is what I want to keep:  like shadows I want to be surrounded by! Without these shadows I would lose too much, like I wouldn’t appreciate things I had once kept and done. I like moving with myself, not without ‘it’/me.

Palimpsest: shadows like a palimpsest, a hidden text, a hidden story, which is discovered by scraping the surface: later this month I will be part of an exhibition called ‘Palimpsest –

Bringing Hidden Stories to Light’ – taking place in Bad Oeynhausen in Germany (in the north eastern end of Northrhine Westphalia if you look on the map), organised by Katja Rosenberg and the Artcatcher team – here is the link: exhibitions.weebly.com/palimpsest-2016.html). So this is part of my contribution to this theme and this exhibition: how a shadow has a palimpsest-like quality, and how these shadows inhabit stories and in turn how their discovery is exciting! Discovering these overshadowed stories can be risky too, but it’s always a risk worth taking. The risk comes in because an uncovering of something hidden can change the shape of things, the forms

and the structures we are used to. But the risk is liberation: it urges us to appreciate the knowledge of neglected spaces: Africa, Women, The Other! Enquiring into the shadows is like a Pedagogy of the Oppressed (a la Paulo Freire): it’s a transformative experience! Have

a look at my pieces there and see my exploration of this thrilling theme; and everyone else’s piece of art too. And everything around too! Everything matters! – most of all the shadows of which we don’t know as much as the as the light.