The Land of The King of Winds (You never know where the wind will take you)
Through this psychoanalytic journey I intended to analyse and become more aware of unconscious. In a way I did, because I realised that I, in no way, will actually and truly, handle the idea of death and mourning. Although during the making of the artwork in Ogygia I became more personal, during the making of the artwork in Telepylos I made myself think of the idea of loss in a symbolic way, but did not in the slightest make myself go through a process of catharsis, nor relate to it at any point. I had difficulties engaging with the process. Firstly because ever since the pandemic started I have tried to shut out of my mind anything that can bring me down and I usually fail, but this I could shut out of my mind. So instead, I went through a different journey of realisation. I always loved psychology and analysis of the mind and behaviour and I enjoy the process, but it has to be an organic process that will take much more time than this placement, and I will continue through this process in the future. Therefore, I will name this project, the beginning of a whole new way of living. The reflection of myself, as I am now, not ready to deal with almost anything.
TO BE CONTINUED…
I want to include the meaning of Odyssey and all elaborations of the places mentioned in the Odyssey associated to each post, separately to encourage the viewers to make their own assumptions about the meaning of each part of the project before (and if ever) reading the symbolism that I have given to each place and how it is driven from the actual ancient greek myth written by Homer following the adventure of a war hero Odysseus as he tries to get back to his homeland and family in Ithaka island. I use this story as a parallel to my own psychoanalytic journey, linking the moral meaning of each stop in Odyssey, to my own practice.
As you set out for Ithaka
hope the voyage is a long one,
full of adventure, full of discovery.
Laistrygonians and Cyclops,
angry Poseidon—don’t be afraid of them:
you’ll never find things like that on your way
as long as you keep your thoughts raised high,
as long as a rare excitement
stirs your spirit and your body.
Laistrygonians and Cyclops,
wild Poseidon—you won’t encounter them
unless you bring them along inside your soul,
unless your soul sets them up in front of you.
Hope the voyage is a long one.
May there be many a summer morning when,
with what pleasure, what joy,
you come into harbors seen for the first time;
may you stop at Phoenician trading stations
to buy fine things,
mother of pearl and coral, amber and ebony,
sensual perfume of every kind—
as many sensual perfumes as you can;
and may you visit many Egyptian cities
to gather stores of knowledge from their scholars.
Keep Ithaka always in your mind.
Arriving there is what you are destined for.
But do not hurry the journey at all.
Better if it lasts for years,
so you are old by the time you reach the island,
wealthy with all you have gained on the way,
not expecting Ithaka to make you rich.
Ithaka gave you the marvelous journey.
Without her you would not have set out.
She has nothing left to give you now.
And if you find her poor, Ithaka won’t have fooled you.
Wise as you will have become, so full of experience,
you will have understood by then what these Ithakas mean.
I included this poem written in 1911 by Kavafis because it summarises the ideas behind my project. I want to use this project to express and understand my feeling better, as a way of psychoanalysis through art. As Odysseus, I have set out on a journey, not knowing where the wind will take me, and the importance of this journey is not the destination but the process of getting there because there is nothing else to get from an achieved goal, than the lessons in the process.
Calypso was a nymph that lived in the magic island, Ogygia. Odysseus got to the island by himself after all his shipmates died at sea in a shipwreck. He stayed in the island for some years but he would always look into the sea and wish to go back to his homeland. After 7 years, Zeus sent Hermes to tell Calypso to help Odysseus build a boat so he can leave. Calypso tried to bribe Odysseus to stay by promising to make him immortal, but Odysseus set sail to Ithaka, remembering his “red balloons”.
The land of Laestrygonians was the place where Odysseus tribe was suppose to meet, but Laestrygonians were man-eater giants that wrecked the 11 out of the 12 ships of the tribe, making him and his men the only survivors, as the rest either drowned or got eaten by the giants. That feeling that I describe in the project, is like the Laestrygonians; it can eat you alive or drown you into your depression.
Land of the Laestrygonians
Freud and Pandemic, Art and Mourning, Mourning and Melancholia: life in the face of loss and PROJECTIONS: Death Drive on Film
In the past weeks, I had to read a lot about the pandemic and the restrictions due to covi-19, which influenced me to read about it as displayed through the exhibition prevue Freud and Pandemic. It presents the state of the Freud family in the duration of the pandemic. After the passing of Freud’s pregnant daughter, Freud wrote his theory on life drive and death drive which immediately drew my attention. I continued by listening to a Symposium and a podcast about mourning; Art and Mourning and Mourning and Melancholia: life in the face of loss which helped in the making of the following artworks.
I started by thinking of how the pandemic has influenced my life. I get anxious that time flies and it’s slipping through my fingers. On the one hand, I persistently try to make each second last and be felt, but on the other hand I am waiting for another day to pass, to take me closer to the end of the pandemic, only to then be anxious about all the time I left flew by.
While I am self isolating, I have to work only with any materials I find in the house. For the artworks, I used a piece of cloth, that I bought to make a cover of a book, a year ago, that I never actually made, some bubble wrap that my brother had left after moving, technology and the natural light coming through the windows. Three aspects of time passing and death are unfolded through three separate artworks.
The shimmering light of life that covers death
In the exhibition prevue PROJECTIONS: Death Drive on Film a quote drew my attention;
Unbeing dead isn’t being alive.
Inspired by this quote I made an installation piece which I then used to make a time-lapse video capturing the passing of time reflected on the way the light hits the bubble wrap. The matte fabric represents the “unbeing alive”.
Still photo of the installation “The shimmering light of life that covers death”
For me that means that we are so focus on the fact that we are alive and breathing, feeling safe in the false certainty that we will stay alive for long enough to live that in the end we don’t.
Download and watch video here: Time-lapse video 1
Death is inevitable, but the way that I see it, while it approaches one would start thinking of everything that is not achieved, everything that is not experienced and suddenly all the time wasted sleeping, eating, reading, relaxing, while needed and enjoyed in the process, seems unnecessary and poorly spent. At least that’s how it feels it will be…
Calypso’s Island (You can’t win time)
From when I was little, I hated celebrating my birthday because I had in mind that every year passing is a year gone. I remember when I was 6 years old a day before my birthday, I was with my mum in her room at our summer house and I was crying because I was getting older. That would happen every year after that, or at least this is the first time I remember crying because I was getting older. Once again this year, a few days before my birthday I started being melancholic and I had come across that blog page in the Freud Museum about how the Father of Psychoanalysis celebrated his own birthday.
The reason I wanted to read this blog page at that time, was mostly because I thought I would find comfort. I believed that a psychologist, a person that deals with phobias everyday, would have a different philosophy and approach about time and would be more acceptive of the passing of time. But Sigmund Freud also hated celebrating his birthday. He preferred to spend that day as any other. I prefer that way because it gets my mind off the fact that I am getting older.
As an answer to what I read and as an outcome of my feelings, I started making balloons using home-made cold porcelain and wire.
Photograph of “The happiness you have locked up.”
Symbolism and Meaning
The balloons are associated with birthdays and parties, therefore, symbolise happiness. I used home-made porcelain because I know that it cracks as it dries, symbolising the “not well conserved”. The cage is there to symbolise storage, something granted.
The happiness you almost forgot about.
Sometimes I focus so much on what is not as I would want it to be that I forget all the things I am thankful for. More on my birthday than on other days, I focus on what I haven’t achieved till now, forgetting all the goals I have accomplished.
My starting point
London Road, Preston Road and Viaduct Road junction seems to me like the most busy, therefore noisy place in Brighton. Car engines, motorbikes, huge trucks and old buses, making loud noises as they pass, workers, pedestrians, open shops; making their own audio stigma. So much information for our brains to handle that we just block them out. We have learned to pay no attention at the noise, the background noise, the underscoring of our lives. we only realise the absence of it. When there is no industrial noise, suddenly we don’t have to hurry through life. We found a shelter. Therefore, I would like to make a shelter for the soul, an “inner peace”-shelter, in the middle of all that noise.
A digital collage of the final form of the passage.
That shelter takes the form of a red nose; with three entrances/exits; two at the front of the nose and one at the back. Pedestrians can choose if they’d like to cross it or take a moment to them selves to enjoy the simplicity and to take a break, look at the sky through the skylights, avoid the noise for a moment.
Taking a closer look to create a “comfort-zone”
The symbolic meaning of the nose; spiritually the nose is a passage for the spirit and the soul to or from the heart and it can also symbolise the relation between contact and expression. (read more about symbolism)
The final artwork would be made of titanium, as it is a light-weighted metal with strength. it would then be covered with sound insulation material, heat insulation material to isolate as much as possible the sounds of the outside and keep an ideal temperature. Some parts of the ceiling would be skylights, in that way, whilst inside, people can focus only to the southing colour of the sky. It would also make an ideal shelter from the rain.
Estimated time needed for the implementation of the project
January – July : to building and prepare the artwork. August – November : to instal the artwork and make sure that it is absolutely safe to use.
Thinking of the implementation
Placing a pin on it.
Starting with the location; it is to be placed on the pavement creating entrances right after the pedestrian crossings of Beaconsfield Road and Viaduct Road.
Zooming in to the exact place.
Photograph(1) I took of the location.
Photograph(2) I took of the location.
Analysis of the form; the “nostrils” of the nose will take the form of the two front entrances/exits at the start of the crossing paths of each road. noticing the shape of the pavement at that part, the nose will have a distracted shape at the front, meaning that from a distance, it will look like a nose from the front but from up close it will be curved, following the shape of the pavement as to adjust to the crossings.
A representational above view of the sculpture.
The third entrance/exit will be at the back side of the nose looking at the London Road pavement.
The installation measurements; having the shape of a nose, it will also have different heights at different parts. the highest point will be 4.5 meters and the lowest 2.5 meters. All entrances/exits will be of 2 meters, the parts following the “nostrils” will have a height of 2.5m lowest and 3m highest points. The point of the nose therefore will be the highest, of 4.5m and will deescalate to 2.5m right before the door at the back.
A sketch of the dimensions of the final artwork.
Disclaimers for the installation and usage of the “Passage of the Psyche”
Installation: during the installation we will ensure that there is enough space for the pavement and the pedestrian crossings to be properly and safely used, keeping a distance from the artwork and the workers.
Usage: outside all entrances, a sign will be placed with all the “do’s” and “don’t’s” while in the passage, to prevent the misusage and ensure the safety of the users. An example:
The content is to be evaluated and edited.