Thursday, August 12, 2010

Still Life, Moving Pictures and Hannah Wilke

I have not posted on this blog for an extended period of time.
Several persons near and dear to me have passed and my creative process has a peculiar ebb and flow. I write my words in earnest and after much consideration.
These words have become my primary "high" art form these days.  I take the written word very seriously.
I have been having vivid and quite lucid dreams. I dreamed (re-lived, actually) some years of my youth when I was brave, courageous, optimistic - and anything and everything was possible.
I was happy, intoxicated with all that "could be" in this life time.
I so yearn for the attitude of my youth, that I unashamedly lived with a certain reckless, fearless and carefree abandon.
Alas, many of the key players of my youth are deceased now...and my life took turns that I never could imagine in my glory days.
I do not not know if I can achieve that fearless mindset again in this life. Absurd in a way, as rationally, the longer you live, the more fearless you should become.  In my case (and, I suspect in many others), it is the opposite.
The more I know, the longer I live, the more fearful I grow.
I endeavor to change this...and live in the moment - but time seems to move faster now....
What to do? 
Wait for the "next life"?
Most people concentrate their energies on their family. This is right and just. 
But, is this a distraction from one's own life and death? Or a continuation of life after death in a sense? A way to trick the mind into delusions of such immortality? 
Being childless (by choice), I live a "still life". The moving pictures belong to other people. I am the  constant observer, a voyeur of of me have been 'stilled' due to the pain of loss, grief, (perceived) abandonment, being alone. Emotional scars that go unseen to others, but are personally felt, nonetheless.

I have been thinking about Hannah Wilke, an artist that I so admired, and her absolutely astonishing work.

I still remember the first time I saw Hannah Wilke's "Scars"... a photo of her nude torso covered with wads of chewing gum. An ode to the very real fact that we all experience pain and suffering in this life. We bear it internally. Hannah reminds us that internal (emotional) scars are every bit as real as the external (physical ) scar we show to the world from surgery, a bloody brush with a thorny rose bush, a cut, grief, a broken heart, loss, pain, hurt.

Hannah Wilke objectived her own body in her work.  Her "Scars" evolved into a series entitled "Scarification". This was early conceptual work at its best!
After she was diagnosed with cancer, Hannah exposed all of the physical effects of her chemotherapy before her premature death.

Hannah Wilke was a beautiful, courageous, brave, strong woman. When facing her eventual mortality, she exposed herself to a world-wide audience - scars and all.

In Love, Truth, Beauty....

Images courtesy of Artnet and Wikipedia