|Igor and my husband, Markus at Goleb Project Space.|
One day I spent over five hours walking and busing around Amsterdam with my husband (diligent, patient hero of an assistant), looking for the right fabric for the installation we were creating. The constant drone of the cars in the street, the relentless hammering of urban construction on a floodplain, the mill-like humming of people in the various markets we visited - it all felt so numbing and calming. Like a heavy blanket. Igor called my cell phone while we were out and I ducked into an insurance office so I could hear his gentle voice over the din of the street. The employees calmly but firmly pushed me off the premises as I strained to hear him, shuffling back out onto the street, hand cupped around the phone and my ear, the other waving apologetically. I began to feel like I was being bumped around like a stray dog in a crowd, hardly noticed but constantly on the move. I began to wonder if maybe the difference in energy between me and Igor is more a question of urban vs. rural living than anything else. But I got used to it.
We worked, visited, and experimented together and by the time the installation was up I could see my art had changed. Have I changed? The voices of people I had interviewed filled the room with a kind of encompassing drone. The sheets hung limply in the dark, and people who visited didn't laugh and play as they have in previous installations I've done. They stood still and contemplated. They stood among those sheets all quiet and wondering. Some told me later that they left with a feeling of thoughtful stillness. Still, in Dutch, means silent.
It's amazing to discover that I can change so easily, and to discover that I can still create, even in circumstances and emotional states that are new to me. Now that I'm home, I wonder if my work will change in general, or has it always been just a reflection of my surroundings at the time? Thank you, dear Igor, for your enormous contribution to art and humanity, for this residency and the time to spend getting to know you and Go-Eun. Thanks for opening more doors and eyes and hearts. May we continue to find connection.