BETWEEN LEAVING AND LEAVING
Polaroids, text, performance-lecture
This project uses a personal archive of photographs as a point of departure for reflection on and enactment of a practice of undoing and unlearn- ing. It does this by focusing on leaving as a central concept, both as a way of life and a practice. It relates to the themes of the show because it aims to to turn the inert material archive into a living process of reflection, seeking to challenge dominant discourses by focusing on what is left in the gaps between them.
Leaving is way of life, familiar to many people, where everything is temporary. Habits have no time to form; any choice is pro- visional; things do not have a permanent place; no arrangement is final. Leaving is a form of waiting, at any moment about to depart, never quite arriving. Even staying in one place does not avoid it: leaving does not leave, and someone is always leaving. Friends and neighbours disperse; communities are suspended over distances. Furthermore, anxiety and restlessness can always take over. Things pile up; what is left becomes a burden.
Leaving can also be a practice. It is a form of thinking that is always on the verge of something, a glimpse of insight about to disappear. There are no conclusions; nothing is settled and nothing is certain. It is a form of making that looks for its own undo- ing: it can produce nothing lasting but only signs of having passed by.
The process of re-arranging the photo- graphs is a way of assembling, disassembling, re-assembling the fragments that make up our knowledge of ourselves and of the world, but a knowledge that is silent and invisible: not the well-known truths that everyone acknowledged and relied on, but the small truths between, behind or around those truths. The images between the images, the sounds between the sounds, the details that made up a life, some indeterminate facts, the rest.
This work is both personal and an attempt to think to the side of established conceptual structures by paying attention to small everyday gestures and moments.