The Future and the Past in One Place

As the course draws near its end, some avenues close while others open. The preparation for demonstrating the project proposal is a lengthy process. Seeing as the pandemic has made it impossible to, a) finish the final works, b) install them, I have had to balance conflicting ideas causing me a fair deal of reflection and concern.

The installation itself is a complex triangulation between three works. The only possibility I have found to show a) the viability of the proposal and b) my commitment to its existence, is to create three alternatives: two maquettes and a composite image of the third. I have completed one maquette which I shall post after this together with explanations of how it would function in reality.

All this has taken me away from presenting finished work online as I would have wished. I cannot concentrate on the project proposal delivery and the online Raum Gallery and Cables shows simultaneously. What I am currently doing, reflecting on what I have done, and not done, during the course, and working on the hypothetical show is something I feel is of great importance in terms of future shows and generating new ideas. And therein lies my twofold frustration: as I work on the demonstration of the project proposal, a great many ideas come flooding in; ideas that I can barely talk about, even much less do something with – and – many of these ideas would be ideal for online shows. Time is the most precious commodity, hopefully, I shall have enough of that for the Cables show.

In the midst of all this, I have taken the time to complete the work in the above image. A ritual of sorts encapsulating the sealing and preservation of ideas. The seal is to be broken, and what is contained, once again grasped and worked with. Inside the two caskets, are two early maquettes for Oracle now become Logos. Oracle is not forgotten, it waits to be reincarnated in some other form. But this is not only about the past, the future too is contained within those boxes. This is a tactile-visual metaphor for the state I feel I am in at the moment, unable to touch the new ideas and re-envigorate old ones in a new light.

I have already outlined some of the ideas in Formulation of future plans to continue my personal and professional development. The delicious trouble is that these ideas keep on coming. Great times lie ahead.

By the way, I have always been fascinated by boxes, caskets, urns and other such containers. I have never been able to work out quite why. There are many reasons I can think of: a wish for order, keeping things safe, the allure of the hidden and surprising. But none of these explanations satisfies me at anything other than a superficial level. There is one idea, though, that comes up as I write this post, and that is, a box is a container for the past. This is not a morbid fascination for nostalgia but more an understanding that we cannot touch the past other than by seeing the thing that contains it, whether that be written history, archaeology, palaeontology or any such signifier of what the past means to us. The real past is kept hidden, and its story can only be told by the tokens that are handed down by time for us to ponder on and decipher. And so the box represents the future that we cannot grasp. When a body is placed in its casket, it is done as a symbol or intimation of immortality. It is a denial of the possibility of annihilation. I see a box as creating a sense of preservation, permanence, transient finality… hope.