November 1, 2011

Everything flows and nothing remains

When I was 16 or 17 I read the book "Life doesn't exist" ("Het leven bestaat niet") by Hendrickje Spoor. It's a coming of age story. A fourteen year old girl tries the find the truth of life. She is having conversations with her father, her mother and a drug dealer, who are giving her advice on how to live life. One of the truths she tries out is "Everything flows and nothing remains" ("Alles stroomt en niets blijft"). The book was very important for me and still is, because that sentence still gives me the most sense of how to live life. Not only is it a (big/important) theme in my work, also in how I live.
In my first room in Breda I wrote the words on my wall. A visitor read it and said "That's depressing". I was so surprised, because I don't find it depressing or sad. It's not scary if you are aware of it. If you know that the things, the people that surround you are temporary and that every state of mind or feeling flows, changes, you learn to enjoy the moment more. And memories can never be taken away.
I'm a real collector. I love to own beautiful things (Artbooks, cloths, shoes, bags & jewelry, stuffed animals, especially sheep, furniture) and I'm really bad in throwing things away. I make photos, I started around the same time as I read the book "Life doesn't exist", with disposable cameras. For someone who believes in the temporary state of living, I keep holding on to a lot of things. But on the other hand I always live in temporary houses. In the almost 9 years I lived in Breda, I had eleven homes, of which in one I only lived 3 days and a mobile home in which I lived two weeks, so make it nine. I'm thinking a lot about the house I'm going to live in when I grow up. But I'm already kind of grown up and not yet near wanting to own a house (or able to..).
"Everything flows and nothing remains" is in both my temporary work as my less temporary work (paintings on paper, videos, photos and wallpaper-installations) an important theme. I posted that I would share more about Temporary Art. In the previous post about this subject I wrote about how Temporary Art isn't unsalable Art because it's bought & on display in many museums.
I like to end this post with another very fine example of Temporary Art.

"Felix Gonzalez-Torres (1957 -1996) works invest the most mundane materials (candy, clocks, lightbulbs) and common-place processes (off-set printing, photography) with a preciousness and poetry to convey both the rational value of life and its inevitable transience."
-From Art Now

"Untitled (Placebo)", 1991, candies wrapped in silver cellophane

"Above all else, it is about leaving a mark I existed: I was here. I was hungry. I was defeated. I was happy. I was sad. I was in love. I was afraid. I was hopeful. I had an idea and I had a good purpose and that's why I made works of art."
-Felix Gonzalez-Torres

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