I really enjoyed the first HOME lecture, as it sparked a lot of thought and reflection. The work that stood out to me the most was Michael Landy’s 2001 artwork Breakdown. In this artwork, Landy destroys every object that he owns. This performance made me think about what would happen if I had nothing to show for who I am. Would I even know who I was if I had nothing to prove my identity? This artwork caused me a lot of internalised anxiety as I thought about Landy having to try and source a new passport, drivers license, etc but having no evidence as to who he was. Surprisingly Landy appeared to have no worries in the world as he destroyed all of his worldly possessions and he even seemed to find it freeing. This made me feel quite jealous of the artist as I know that I will never know the feeling of having to start over materialistically.
I was thinking about what Miranda said in our tutorial in week one, about my work not becoming self-indulgent and to look up from ourselves when making.
My first thoughts surrounding home was to explore my childhood and to take a step into the past. I spoke to my Dad, Nan and Grandad about my childhood home and I noticed how they spoke so fondly of the times when I was little. I think we often idolise our childhood through a rose-tinted lens and the home we lived in as a child. I found my family members clung onto these times as they spoke, as if they were trying to catch scarps of gold out in a sandstorm.
I remember I used to ask my mom: ‘what age would you like me to stay at if I could stay any age forever’. She would say ‘I like the age you are now’. I always wondered why she thought this, as if I had the choice, I would stay eight years old forever. I know now that she said this most likely because she saw my growth, she saw that I kept getting better and so did my potential.
Bauchelard also over idolises our childhood and childhood homes. I was convinced by his argument at first, as I thought- ‘of my course my childhood was the best time of my life, I had no care, worries, I felt no grief or sadness.’ But why are these feelings such a bad thing?
I find myself in my day-to-day life clinging onto anything remotely nostalgic because I am so desperate to return back to the innocence of childhood, to be playful and jovial. However, that’s not what reality is like. Reality is serious, and meant for adults. I thought at the beginning of the semester that I wanted to connect with my inner child, but instead I want to connect with my inner women.
I want to explore how I feel in the present, what is happening right now. There is only such much time you can spend living and analysing the past and honestly, I am done thinking and living actively in the past.
I want to explore my body as my home, and what is means to be an adult in the world; because that is what I am. I am no longer a child.
I am done infantilising myself for the male gaze, I am, deserve, and will reach my full potential as an adult women by using my body and mind in harmony to conquer my own insecurities and habits and to convince people to rethink themselves and what it means to exist in the world.
9/02/22- I wrote the above statement at about 12.30am in the morning about a week ago, after feelings so frustrated at the myself for idolising my childhood and angry at everyone else for idolising something that simply doesn’t exist anymore. My childhood doesn’t exist anymore-it has been and gone and so has my home. It is now my own responsibly to make my own home. I think I felt to frustrated as I’m trapped in an in between at the moment- like I my childhood has disappeared far off into the distance and now where am I? I would say that I am the happiest I have been since I’ve been eighteen, but that doesn’t count for the fact that I don’t really know what I’m doing or how to exist in the world.
The space I live in at the moment is ephermal, I live in a university student house in town and I knew when I moved in that I wouldn’t stay here forever. University as a whole is an ephermal thing, we are all going to graduate eventually. This makes living in my space a bittersweet experience, as I know that we will move onto the next house for my final year in just four months. Then it’ll just be another space that doesn’t exist in my reality, but instead in the dusty corner of subconsciousness.
It feels like a scary experience to live in the present and to actively acknowledge what is around you, mostly because I don’t really know how to. The only way I could think of actively ground myself in the present was by physically touching my surroundings.
I spent 15-20 minutes sitting on my kitchen counter and touching everything that was in arms reach of me. I shook the spices, smelt the spices, crinkled and caressed the newspaper, I stroked and scratched the counter, I clicked pens and felt the edges and handles of the cabinet.
This activity sparked a memory of the artist Do Ho Suh’s work, in which he covered his New York apartment with paper and took rubbings of the whole place before he moved. I love how personal and cathartic this artwork is; you can really see how Do Ho Suh really loves and cares for the apartment in which he lived for eighteen years. This seemed like a grounding experience for the artist, as well as being a nostalgic trip.
I tried some rubbings of my own to feel a connection between my body and my present surroundings. I took coloured paper and a piece of graphite and made a rubbing of my wallpaper in my bedroom. I associate the old wood chipped walls with my present house. I felt that this was a really intimate but simple way to feel present. I also took some rubbings after a performance in the project room. I felt that these rubbings were me trying to feel present, but they inadvertently turned into memories are places that I have been and exist in and they will continue to grow in nostalgia as time goes on. I don’t think that I can wholly get away from the feeling of nostalgia, as parts of nostalgia are reflective and productive. I can’t control how time changes perceptions of things, I can only control what happens in the present.
This week, I also used the project room for the first time, and I had some fun moving my body. Dancing and using my body in this inhabited way was so beautiful to me and it felt therapeutic and healing. I felt like I my body was a tuned 47 stringed harp that I was playing. I really enjoyed the shadows that my body was making, as if the shadows were a beach house that my body could take a holiday to.