#266 Where The Heart Is
64x84 cm each, installation dimensions variable | Filler, oak frame
The title is a direct translation of the German Unheimlich, introduced by Sigmund Freud. The correct English word is, of course, Uncanny and it describes the strangeness in the ordinary. Jacques Lacan formulated it in turn as the ambiguous feeling of not being able to distinguish good from bad, pleasure from displeasure. A state of anxiety that gestures to the Real, the primordial field beyond the symbolised universe where our conscious selves reside.
I write it Unhome, to point at the constant alienated self, separated from others, its physical surroundings and even from its subconscious counterpart, by its very ability to have a subjective point of view, to distinguish, evaluate and make intentional choices. By entering the realm of language, we leave home, in the sense of a natural, immediate connection to reality, never to return if we want to stay sane and remain self-contained subjects. This uneasiness that lingers in the background might not be discernable, but it affects us nevertheless. In fact, it is a defining feature of every desire that propels our everyday lives, big and small.
This notion, that no one is never really home, might help us relate to others in the large group of people that actually have left their homes, trying to settle in an unfamiliar and sometimes hostile environment, striving to make sense and establish a feeling of security and belonging in an ever-shifting and precarious situation.
To the mind, a word is always also an image. In that sense, understanding words function no different than normal perception. When we see, images are constructed inside the mind. We never perceive reality objectively or in itself. Perception is an interpretation and thus consist of language, in the same manner as understanding words.
However, to use language, we have to speak or write it. We have to realize it. Nothing ever communicates without being inscribed into a matter of some sort. But how words are inserted into reality affects how we perceive them. Thus reality itself seeps into language. There exists no clear or unmediated communication. Matter adds to the message. Because which matter we choose to communicate through, and how we shape it, reflects on who we are, it can reveal unconscious or hidden meanings.
Humans inscribed the first written words in stone or clay. One of the purposes was to save them for the future, to protect them from the volatility of time. To speak, or to write, is always to some extent, an act of power. The receiver must initially submit his or her attention to the message. No matter how insignificant, its meaning will always in some way change the receiver forever.
There is a constant tension between language and reality as matter. The human subject is defined by an individual will, as opposed to the strict causality of nature. This will strive to be expressed through language. Maybe self-awareness is a result of language at use. Language as a way for the ego to invent itself, to inscribe itself into the world. It is no coincident that many of the first examples of texts are curses, prayers, laws or inventories — different ways of trying to influence and master reality.
Tablet series is part of Template, a compilation of works made by using pieces of wooden plates as templates. They function as a mould or matrix for the finished work.
Reminiscent of Richard Serra's Verb List I try to use simple and clearly defined actions to shape the filler in my works. This method ensures there is always non-cognitive aspects of the production process.