Since the competitive nature of my secondary school days and the brainwashing that subliminally happened through the prevailing value system there, I have had trouble being happy with having no achievements to show for myself. And in fact forget that I have achieved a lot in the past and just focus on the present moment, where I have not yet achieved my current goals.
Being in the present of course is what gurus will tell you is a sign of health but instead I interpret it as something disembodied from the rest of my life so far. I feel an emptiness. Nothing is there for me to fall back on or prop me up. I have not shown work in a while. I have been travelling, learning German, settling into my new home, meeting new people, making new friends. Despite the special nature of this phase of my life and the great appreciation I have for it, I have never felt more compass-less.
My pain was my compass. I used to say it was my feelings. I have now come to realise that it was my negative feelings. They had urgency. They pushed me to find an outlet and a way of projecting the poison outwards. This led me on the path of understanding myself in the context of my experience. My art led me away from itself.
My current project is real life. My theme has always been autobiography and biography and I suppose the interpretation of fact. But keeping it private and living it for no audience apart from the people involved, was not really my thing. Life didn’t feel real without a witness. My eyes were not enough. My account was not accepted. It was more than needing affirmation. It was because I felt I did not exist at all. Despite knowing why I am this way and where this came from I still find being without it totally unnerving. I feel like someone stripped my skin off, let alone my clothes. I feel like I have gotten to the core of my issues and dumping them in the bin at ferocious speed.
I had a medical examination recently as I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease years ago and regular tests are required. There was no sign of the disease. The doctor almost could not believe that I had ever been diagnosed with it. Even my body is changing.
So, my private project, which is still getting a public mention, is taking shape. It is totally mundane and on the surface terribly ordinary. Under the surface and for nobody else to see, it is extraordinary.