Thursday, October 25, 2007

Show me your sceleton box

handcuffs, now holding time
Well... this is an awesome event I would like to attend: It takes place these days in Berlin. An exhibition of personal tokens from love stories that came to an end. Divorced, departed, alienated, after the fever of closeness. What happened to you after you "broke up", "split", "fell apart"? Everyone has to go through different paths, to come to terms with the events, the reasons of the breaking up, the precise details, the anniversaries that come and go, torturing, uninhabited, but still like long abandoned archaeological sites, "there" but not standing anymore in their vivid actuality. Apart from this difficult turning point in our private lives (on which the nation of therapists, analysts, healers, astrologists, make a fortune) there is the cruelty of the material indications of what used to be and it is not anymore. What may happen with all these gifts, the photographs, the CDs, the souvenirs? This is why some philosophers accused materiality for cruelty. The more it grows, the heavier we get. The idea of the exhibition was conceived when two Zagreb artists, Olinka Vistica and Drazen Grubisic, split up and decided to try to heal their wounds by showing in public the proofs of their finale. In Bosnia-Herzegovina the exhibition attracted many supporters. People donated 300 objects to add to the initial core of the collection. In Germany, in Berlin, already appeared 30 objects-tokens, a wedding dress, the axe that a deserted lover used for destroying the furniture of his "ex-", Valentine underwear. The experience of loss and depression is universal.
the bike he used while leaving her
The episodes which occur on the borders of private/public draw my particular attention: how the rules of making sense of private stories mix with the rhetorics of public exposure. The public sphere, expanding to the fragments of the personal territory, with the spicy curiosity of a voyeur is something common with time. Take a glimpse, for instance, at the story of the final days of Diana "the Princess of the People", or its repetition, in a more hilarious manner, with Britney Spears. Private details about the emotional life of someone on the scene, attract grave-robbers and the flash of the cameras, the pressing questions aiming at some irritated reaction, the cheap journalism of motorcycle hunting, may culminate even in tragedies.
1. A public sphere which tackles nothing big, that does not inspire and does not educate, 2. A bored, dull and mentally unmotivated public which is so much enclosed in its personal routine details, that are lived out in the way of a dramatic series, 3. Technical means which allow an easy and daily intrusion into private spaces and the publication of their finds, all of the above and other factors I cannot think of right now, contributeto this transformation of life into a daily series of "The Bold and the Beautiful" type of impression.
Come on, let us not theorize too much, fellow-voyeurs and victims/persecutors. What would you contribute to the exhibition, if it was to appear somewhere next door, or some doors further down? (Because I feel it might be different our donation in those two cases). What would I give if it was to be set in Jabal al Webdeh, what if in Thessaloniki, or Birmingham? Cigarette boxes painted by those beloved hands, a post valentine postcard (commemorating the first year of being apart), the almond tree flowers with which i was showered during some ancient spring, falling on the wooden floor and then picked carefully by the hand of the .
Why on earth have I kept all these, and many many more?

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

The idea is interesting. I've never heared about it before. Why do people share such personal things? The fact that people keep things from love stories that ended amazes me.

This might be different from what you've talked about, but I once had a friend, actually a best friend, how can I say that...well, we are no more friends, we never talk to each other and I think we hate each other BUT I still keep this friend's pictures. I don't know why I didn't burn them or throw them away.

I think even when relationships are over and we separate from this person forever (at least that's what we believe at the parting moment), a part of us never actually accepts what happened. Moreover, we keep things to remind us of the good times we had with that person because every relationship a human being goes through means something to him/her, and memories of it are saved somewhere inside his/her heart. I guess it's the way we are!

If the exhibition was to appear in Amman or anywhere near I would never give anything because I only like to share the good memories with others, and I hate to look not so strong though it might be the truth sometimes.

I'm sorry that my comment was long but I really loved the article once I first read it Thursday and I've been thinking about it a lot during the weekend. Again, it is interesting!!!!

8:50 PM  
Blogger Vas said...

A long and suggestive comment you have been kind enough to post here. You are right, there is a thin line to be crossed in these issues of dealing with our own privacy or studying/enjoying the display of the privacy of someone else. As far as the reasons of such a rebellious action are concerned, I guess that they are variable. In therapy, speaking out the repressed bitterness, nuisance or trauma is important, a critical turn in healing. It is treated as a conscious action of going through it or, at least, coming to terms with it.
Why do we keep the material files of some past? The obsession about that differs from one person to another. I think for many the main reason is the painful attempt to secure a continuity of time, of narratives, of a meaningful comprehensive story. Archives change: when a personal/family archive is donated to the State Archives, its perspective shifts: now it supports other things, it is combined with other similar data, to draw a bigger wall-painting. Sometimes, relatives throw away piles of notes, piles of books they inherited without them willing. They want some extra space in the house. And what used to be precious, now is seen as dust and dirt.

9:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I personally believe that this small part of a human being, the one which is usually "aside", doesn't really dare to get rid of such things, like the moment of separation itself wouldn't matter then, what would matter is what's next, even IF we're satisifed that a certain relation we've been through is over, but we wouldn't really have enough strength to burn or throw these things away, we would hesitate for a second at least maybe for the sake of the couple of moments we used to smile at them..some shattered thoughts..


12:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

and yea if i was to donate something for such an exhibtion, I'd give away a couple of books, buying original, unused copies instead.

12:04 AM  
Blogger Vas said...

by hesitating for those critical 2 seconds you mentioned, i ended up living in mausoleum-s (the correct is mausolea)... Books are the best to give away: they are recyclable, they have their own market of freaks, and they gather by nature lots of dust. They are the ones though I would never give away, because the process of reading makes them something detached from the "sweet heart" donor. Reading is a dynamic and energetic process and the result is dialectical (me-the page-the time-the inner whisper of a reciting voice)to an extent that it creates some blue eye talisman against the curse of nostalgic missing. :))

12:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

But still, when someone "different", or so you call at the beginning, dedicates a book to you, I would personally think of the reasons behind their choice of that certain book, so by reading it again and again, you would try to detect the links between words, and real life images.. which is, naturally, rediculous..

12:35 AM  
Blogger Vas said...

so much alone we are in these lands "between words". so much personal, eclectic, raging, subjective and wonderful.

12:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

so much real.

12:48 AM  

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