unseen, paper cast of hand made paper, 2019
This work has developed from a longer line of work based on the concept of shared social memories, memories that we ourselves have not formed based on our own experience. These thoughts/memories are evolved from small portions of external information which in our minds combines with activated reference memories from our own long term memory. In my experience there is a tendency in society to veering away from or under representing the ‘negative’ emotions, fear, sadness and anger. In doing so an overly large representation evolves of the ‘positive’ emotions surrounding joy. This is reflected in our conversations, questions and digital representations of our lives in photos/videos and broadcast on social media. With the development of this work I have sought to convey the experience of being distraught. The medium of hand made cast paper embodies the contrast of being there and also being unseen. Without light and close proximity the work is nearly oblivious. With changing light and proximity elements of the image become more prominent. The work was made in the autumn of 2019 and is titled unseen.
There is censorship in our lives by external parties such as social media, governments and large organisations. This distresses and brings a deeper sense of worry to life. We are presented with stories, narratives, but they do not stand alone, they weave into our own personal lives and become part of our narratives. Another form of censorship is more subtle, it rests on our societies willingness to witness and endure distress in our lives and that of others. Our self-inflicted censorship is biased towards mainly positive imagery and narrows the platform on which endurance and acceptance of negative emotions, misery and pain can occur. A world presented via channels such as television, radio, magazines, internet and even books propels many into a paradox of the difference between the presented engineer-ability of our lives on the one hand, and the experienced lack of engineer-ability in reality. The highly controlled and created experience versus the daily experience that many things are beyond any matter of our control. The narrative that evolves, the words that we say to ourselves in our own private minds and the degree of acceptance that we allow to such topics as the distress is the basis of the work unseen.