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Letters from India and Portugal by three artists who become one writer, who is The Time – marked only by the date. The text is written from the perspective of the guest, of the one who is being hosted.
- The diary timeline
- happens in two collective houses, one in Portugal and another in India
- the last date of the diary timeline is the invitation to do the essay together
- The commentary timeline
- happens after they decided to do the collective writing, and they comment on each others’ and their own thoughts, connecting them to the very present issues and also the writing of the essay itself
Subject – Sharing the (artistic) strategies of survival:
- understanding our bodies as precarious
- living together apart
- fighting the demons of success: romantic ideas, great desires, certain future methods:
- note-taking and writing a diary as if someone would read it
- keep up together maintaining the house, keeping the routine
- developing relationships with animals, plants, and machines
- following the flow of “coincidences,” how things relate to each other
- This is about you—things you want to tell us.
- Tell me what to do.
- I don’t know how much you know about this project?
- Nothing at all.
- I collect stuff from the exhibitions and public art events that look like you can take them away.
- Here will be the 7 anxieties we will find out, and this rock represents the world. But the rock is actually made of chocolate so that you can eat it during the card reading.
- Did you make it yourself?
- No, I bought it. It’s not crafted. I ordered it from Amazon, so it’s a cheap world.
- Ovaj kamen može da prikupi sve tvoje tjeskobe i služi kao podsjetnik na ono što je truly desired – što se stvarno želi.
- Samo je jedan (kamen-svijet). To je baš teška odluka (da li ga pojesti). Jel želim iskustvo ili želim predmet arhivski potpun?
- Mogu li ti pomoći ako ti kažem da nije ukusan?
- A tako dakle, gorka realnost, gorčina svijeta.
- You ate it!
- I thought it would be funny that you come back (from the toilet) and that the world was gone.
- Here was the rock that my previous reader ate. And I didn’t prepare another one so you can try to imagine it here. I really didn’t expect that he would eat it, because nobody does. But it is suggested to eat it, so I surely cannot blame him.
- No, you can’t.
- Jel ovo cijeli svijet ili umjetnički svijet ili moj svijet?
- Ja imam ideju da anksioznosti nastaju kad gledamo svijet kao jedan, kao da postoji sad nešto što je pravilo ili nekakav način na koji sve funkcioniše. Ali ako razumijemo da su svjetovi razni, onda nekako možemo vidjeti drugačije sebe i svoj način rada.
- Jesu li anksioznosti vrijedne u smislu da nam ukazuju na paradokse koje moramo da živimo?
- Šta ako ja sad ovo pojedem? Ja sam pojela anksioznost, svoju, tuđu? Šta sam pojela?
- Mislim svoju, ali ne znam.
- I onda? Šta ako se poduplaju?
Možda sam ja energetski napunila sad ovaj kamenčić, i ja ga zapravo sad moram pojesti da ga neko drugi ne dobije, da im ne poremeti karte. Dobro, poješću ga, ali zabrinuta sam.
- Pazi zube.
- Da, za sada nema nikakav ukus.
Kaj je sad ovo?
Sad kad ispadne da je kamen!
- If I don’t record, I don’t remember stuff later. I will listen to it, to understand what I was saying and what other people were saying.
I wanted to make something out of this collected material, but then I ended up writing about making something, and now I am developing ways to talk about this material.
Like this card reading is.
You have been there at the performance when I made this card box. I defined 7 anxieties from my practice, and now it will be about your 7 anxieties.
- Negative criticism on the side.
I have decided not to talk about what I can only relate to with negative critique. I repeat this because, for me, it was a significant movement—also, a big challenge.
- Yeah, you lose half things to say.
Wow, I just had a weird feeling in my head. Felt like something between my skull and my brain is applying pressure to my mind. Felt like my brain was getting smaller in my head. And then I had, I had a little zzzzz, and I thought I was gonna faint. But I never faint.
- Krećemo nešto više općenito?
- Ovo je tvoja prošlost, ovo sadašnjost a budućnost će ti se reći.
- I da li kažem pitanje? Kažem ti ili u sebi?
- Pa bilo bi dobro da mi kažeš.
- Sad sam u situaciji gdje moram zadovoljiti formu koja mi se ne sviđa. Muči me koliko će se to uvući u moj rad i šire u moj način gledanja.
- Our movement is not complete. It is not finished form. It is an open forum.
It is not to create art out of everything.
- The first card is the individual who is fearful but excited.
- I think maybe it will be redundant. Something about individuality: in some kind of way, … that links with how feelings orient our look. The ambiguity of ego. Doing better than the other. Looking at the look.
- You mean: an individual with some kind of a vision that immediately puts him or her as the one who knows? Something like this, or…?
- Yeah, something like – Why should I look at this look?
- I mean – the gaze. The problem is there.
- All these things are happening, but I feel like nothing is really on fire. It’s a bit all lukewarm. Sort of ‘amateurness’ that brings exciting solutions. I like it, but I am frustrated about it. I suck at everything. Why can I not be 100% in something?
- I don’t know if I love the things that I do, I don’t know.
- But you loved it when you were working with your friends?
- At that moment – yes, but… Maybe what I liked was that somehow it gave my life meaning at that moment, which was nice. It was able to feed me for a long time. But, I was kind of tricked. It was an empty human activity in the first place. Often it appears to us that we think alike, and then we try to create this utopian or romantic space, ideal space, but then it emanates from this larger society.
- I broke myself, my relationships, everything is kaput. I really can not be alone.
And if I am collaborating, I don’t distinguish which thoughts are mine and which thoughts are of other people. This goes to extremes that I don’t know if I have an opinion anymore.
- Because someone is giving orders, the other follows it, which cannot stand as a collaboration.
- The way you love, inside the relationships.
It seems to me when you don’t set the rules,… not rules, but when you don’t put it into words, like – What if I do that? Do you think it would affect you? To dare to say it. To open this choice to the other person to continue with you or not.
In art, there is also this – What if I do this? Would you continue with me?
It creates the structure of care.
- My question is – Do you (do I) have to go on a highway, or I can take the side road?
It is not really my question because I decided this a long time ago, but it is still there. I can hear it or smell it from time to time. The question would be actually – What is there on this road, what do you see? How is it going to work? Not only financially, but what does it provide you with?
- The card is telling you: “A chance of making a difference that really can make a difference.” It suggests a firm framework so that you can all do crazy stuff inside of it.
- Everybody is going in the same direction. Think about that as if you have to reach from point A to point B and there is a lot of traffic. Maybe you are five blocks ahead of somebody you want to be with, but you will not reach the destination, because once you reach it, you don’t exist… in the traffic. And think of it in this way: You reached the goal, but the reason of traffic brings a certain sense of discipline, it institutes a certain sense of authority, that you are subjected to, that you are not free from the cycle of society, and that your life path is the same as that of your neighbor, or any other person. So, you can not get over the traffic.
- This is like total anxiety!
- Unless you choose not to buy a car.
- The fear is that it just means nothing.
Maybe the solution is to accept that sometimes you will be sad. And that you don’t have to go out and dance or something. You are just going to be sad.
- You said that what you are afraid of is that what you do means nothing. Is that even possible?
- Yeah, in a way, I think it is. But then, as an individual, you try to create some kind of meaning that is coming from your experience, your journey in life. And then, hopefully, you learn over time how not to care about this.
- Purification is another way of journey, another kind of displacement or movement, that your masters want to make sure you are on the path of purifying your practice, the sense of connecting to the supreme. The practice shouldn’t come into any kind of… it should not dissolve into anything commercial.
- Problem mog ulaska u bilo koje polje.
Ne znam nikad kako da se pozicioniram prema ljudima koji su tu i koji su prije radili. Sve što ja vučem je isto iz nekog zapadnog kruga, što mi ide na živce i prema čemu bih se isto željela pozicionirati.
- There were ten or nine of us. We were going there to sweep for half an hour, in a kind of solitude. Use that space just to be. We did it needlessly, we did it without understanding, we did it idly.
- The process of art printing is, for me, a similar activity.
- Making nothing. Cutting the flowers and putting them in the vase. It is a futile exercise.
- I metaphysically start cleaning everything. I start cleaning my house, cleaning my studio, shoes,… I prepared shoes for something. Because someday it’s gonna happen. It will be a beautiful day, and this day will be the day that I will know.
- Pomirila sa tim da sve što radim ne predstavlja mene osobno.
- Teško mi je verbalizirati ali slika zida ima veze sa tim momentom – Kome ja pišem kome se obraćam? Potrebna je dosta velika doza tvrdoglavosti da nastavim rad. Dosta je tjeskoban taj rad. Najveći dio rada je kad sjedim i gledam u zid.
- Karta ti kaže da pomjeriš zidove.
- Karte ne lažu.
- So maybe this unresolved question is about pushing the walls and start imagining that the walls are moving?
- Listening to you, I start thinking about sensations, noticing the affects. It is not just related to the resolution of putting the wall down, but what does this fight do to my body? I am not interested in the result of the wall being down, but how it affects me while I am trying to push it?
- Opasnost u toj otvorenosti je što onda ne možeš zagrebsti u dubinu, jer kad si suziš temu i bude ta jedna konkretna stvar, onda zapravo možeš šarafiti prema unutra.
A ovo, onako, samo prska naokolo, i to me možda zapravo muči, da nemam fokus i da samo prskam u okolo.
- You got a card with confetti.
- Is that good or bad?
- You can enjoy it!
- I find it strange that… Not strange, but sad. That we have to remind ourselves of these very basic things.
- That’s pessimistic. You said it is not, but I think it is. Because, for example, we can still be reminded of how to breathe. Nobody teaches us how to breathe, we are just breathing, but maybe we don’t breathe very well. We can concentrate on every single thing around us in different ways. There’s nothing sad about this.
- Then there is also this reminder of being together. And being together is fucking hard.
- But when people are dancing, it is easy to be together.
- For the people who like to dance.
- The card is talking about a gesture of celebration.
- Yeah, but I understand it in another way. For me it’s not that happy, it is forced, it’s artificial, it is sad,… because people have to be reminded that they should be together. But then, when they are together, what do you do then? It’s fucking hard, and then why is it that you have to do an action for people to be together in every opening, but then afterward, no one is together. Everyone goes back to their own place.
- My fear is that maybe all the things I do are artificial.
- I don’t produce work… I mean, I produce work but work only exists when it is shared, when I kind of light it up. By the place and the people around, without them, it would stop.
- Kako ući u dubinu toga što uradim, what’s next, how this art works? What does it do what I do? Moji radovi su proizilazili iz nužde na neki način.
- I like the push. I enjoy forcing myself. I would wake up with so many things to do, and I loved it! Structure, progress, every day. It was satisfying. Building up towards something, not having time to think, I just had to do it. You can only think as much.
- Taj rad nije imao vremena da nastane. Hrpetine premijera i novih radova ali nema reprize, radovi ne žive, ovako bljesnu i nestanu. To mi je frustracija.
Taj rad ja već mjesecima nekako pokušavam da radim ali uvijek postoji neka druga vatra koja gori.
- I feel like the works I have done were linked to deception, to be disappointed, in fact.
I tried to do well, something that is bad. A shiny image of something that you are disappointed by. The show is disappointing, and the artist is disappointing too.
To make something for the people that they will not like. Not to feel outrageous, but to feel disappointed, to evoke mediocre sensation.
- Smells good, no?
- It’s rice.
- Šta konkretno ja dobijam i na koji način to gradi, utiče ili hrani moju osobnost, mimo potrebe da se bavim time, mimo potrebe da se bavim umjetničkim praksama, mimo potrebe da izgradim vlastiti kontekst, mimo potrebe da se stvari dešavaju, … Na koji način sve to skupa utiče na mene.
- It’s a lonely place
- You met many people here, but you are not entirely connected. You don’t relate to this place, …
- That would make you think that I am some unique thing, and I think that’s not true.
- I think I really just don’t care, and I am not interested.
- In what?
- In doing these things anymore.
- Yeah, maybe. It’s not that I am above it, but perhaps I would have been better at doing something else.
- Another problem for me is that I also keep pushing or driving myself into particular insanity of time when it comes to my work.
- I admit that my practice is alone at the moment.
- I wonder if you can define this as being productive because many things happen. Like cooking happens, making an object happens, watching the film happens.
- So, awareness of not working is also important. And awareness of working is also important. I am sometimes mixing those two awarenesses. I am more aware when I am not working, trying to be aware of the idea of work.
- Sometimes I like to just put a frame on the drawing.
Sometimes you put a dish in the oven instead of the microwave.
- You want to come close to the standard of the dish you cook. But if it doesn’t taste as it should, you have to do something. Or you make something great, or you destroy the dish. Even when you destroy it, you know what you have done. And if you make it tasty, it is a combination of chance and the liberty you took to do it.
- I think that people are not interested in where I am coming from, and that is something I can’t force them to be. Because it is not easy, there are a lot of things I don’t understand either. If you don’t understand something, that’s fine, but are you curious? Do you have some patience? But then I also think, if I didn’t leave, what would my practice look like? Somehow, coming here, not knowing people, not having any kind of moment of serious exposure, that was really nice.
Some distance from my usual. If I stayed, maybe I could have also been ‘whatever’ to the people and to the things I don’t understand like people are here to my practice and to me even.
- It’s a stupid and romantic idea, but if I love my girlfriend, that’s nothing to do with the market.
- Love has nothing to do with the market?
- No, I would just say that there are intersections with people within the art world that are just not marketable.
- I know. Maybe. If you think like me that the market is inside you, then the market loves her also.
- Then it becomes difficult to see why something is not on the market, but at the same time, when I look around, I see many things that the market just can’t grasp.
- I think it cannot grasp its essence, but its appearance — definitely yes.
- Maybe that’s why I don’t have anxieties — I don’t see the world as a market.
- Anxiety has to transform into some other emotion. It can be a warning, but it has to be collectively resolved. Thinking of how to work with others, how to understand authorship differently.
- When you don’t talk about pedagogy as your practice but as teaching through your practice, you become more transparent.
- I can cry all the time in situations like that. It brings a lot of reflection.
- Is there some need to frame this relation? To put it in the art context?
- I can not go further with this transparency now in an art context. I will do it after. Maybe I will do it in the circus or at the funerals.
- I also find out that I don’t always want to work with vulnerability. The trust has to be artificially constructed, like now us talking,… it has to be something that puts us together in the situation. I couldn’t do this if people are here listening to us.
- Now we are more in the present. There is no prediction of the future.
- To keep being there is about transparency and observing other people’s hands.
Now I am thinking about how I can surprise myself during the performance and keep myself awake and transparent.
- It seems that everyone would want a sense of belonging. But the way I was raised,… the fact that at home I was speaking one language and at school, I was speaking another. Every day I went to school, even on Sundays, I went to a Sunday school.
- What is a Sunday school?
- I never felt like I entirely belonged somewhere. I thought I had to choose. Of course, everyone has this moment of “Who am I?”. But I was born there, my parents were immigrants, my friends would be doing different things that I am doing, cause you know, the social context, cultural context,… but when you are so young you don’t understand all of that… someone went to Disney house or on Hawaii, and I was sitting at my grandma house, it was never cool. I am in the fine line of different things because I don’t belong to one or the other, but I can adapt at the moment. I seek belonging in the relationships. And that’s how I think about my practice.
- Touching objects. I love to move my fingers. I am not gonna think every day about it, but it is a great ability to have.
- I realized that reading theory for me is very material.
- The ritual of going to exhibitions is not a ritual I learned super early. That is not part of my world or of my social class. There is an ambiguous feeling about it that comes when I observe people behaving at the exhibitions. I do not understand it really well.
- Don’t think of me as you think of them.
- I am a super unsocial person. Face to face with an object – I would choose that any day over face to face with a person.
- Thank you. You said that also last time when we met. For me, this face to face with an object is a bit scary because it brings back this idea of autonomous artwork. I find it very important to break this idea because it was never there for me. Because autonomous artwork is without context, without situatedness, place, time, culture, subjectivity… It’s not that I want to take it away completely. I can relate to an object, but I want to include everything around—all the different relations. Because I think that this object doesn’t have a meaning in itself, that meaning gets formed in relations.
- The notion of value is in the making of the space, not in the object itself.
The value lies in the passage that you create for the object, the way the object would be kept (in relation to the other). This questions the art system.
- I think those choices we made for this publication are significant. But that is not the point. The point is to hear other voices. How we decided not to decide. What is the meaning of my white western European body speaking? Even though I am a woman and from a particular class, still – Why should I speak and be heard? Why should people look and listen to me? It is not just about this, but… So, that is my proposition. I am trying not to occupy this place. That’s what I have been taught—that the world has to listen to my fucking French philosophy! So for me, it is important to try to unlearn, not to occupy this space again, to see where I can be and what my position can make for other people.
Making a bridge more than being on the bridge.
- Majka, kućanica i fashion victim.
Termin produkcije je i neki moment, ono, istovremeno podrazumijevaš neku vrstu konzumacije, kao nudiš neke proizvode. Cijelo vrijeme serviraš, serviraš.
- For me, if there is something to criticize, like these protocols and institutions, it is not something they do—it is something that we are part of.
- Možda taj odnos institucija-pojedinci, možda nekad postane neka vrsta realitija u želji da se ipak skućis, udomiš. Ja ipak sada želim prodisat.
- How do you stay excited? I think we change or we get in the movement because we want to understand something. If you don’t understand something, there is work you have to do. And no one wants to feel dumb. But we are very dumb, of course.
- Things that are hanging above your head.
- Procrastination is happening at different levels. Working with certain people, communicating with people… who try to put you in a certain place.
My practice could go in a highly critical way to the people I am communicating with, and those people might become angry because of the things I might make public, but these things should be made public.
- Konflikti jesu nešto od čega bježim a trebala bih manje bježati. Vjerujem da kritika ne bi trebala biti loša ili dobra. Vjerujem da treba govoriti. Nisam bila u situaciji gdje moram jasno reći da se vidi neka sjebana hijerarhija ali sigurna sam da će ta situacije doći.
- There is oak, mushrooms, other different species… and everybody working for the forest, everybody makes each other alive. I do certain things, and I can not survive without you. But I do certain things. There is this pressure of “I” creating a work, “me,” the author of this book—this fantasy of being something that represents many.
- This is maybe why I decided to collect this stuff from the exhibitions, to keep the references. But then I signed this box with cards – which is nonsense. I hope that what I signed is a promise that I will hold this together and do the work …
- What do you actually sign? – it is an exciting question.
- As technicians, we know so many things are done by many different people, and this thinking together is not explored enough.
- If institutions don’t follow the artists at one point, artists will hit back against the institution. I think — I hope.
- But that’s the hope, no?
That you do something, that you keep something alive for others, that you want to pass on some things, that you believe in other people, … Just keeping references alive. You can not know if that is going to become important for someone later on or not. Who knows? But just giving it a chance, that’s the hope.
THE WORLD IS A STONE, can endure any upheavals, a stone, defined as a hard mineral substance of a small or moderate size. Accordingly, its prominent properties are hardness and size, marked by the elements that make up the rock. By metaphorical extension of its properties, it activates the attributes: motionless or fixity, stability or constancy, perfect for the life journey. Within the Earth science context, the stone is the matrix of a mineral. The stone can be a metaphor for some other metaphors for positive phenomena such as character solidity, permanence, and reliability. However, it can also represent negative phenomena, such as irrespective of manners and ruthlessness.
Interestingly, in Montenegrin language, the adjective kamen, -a, -o (stony) developed the metaphorical meaning of the weak, bad, the low-quality (Abović, Gvozdenović, 2020: 6). Part of the original domain exploited in this conceptual metaphor comes from the experience of living on karst soil: stony or rocky (soil) is barren (soil). And the infertile is necessarily perceived in the framework of negativity: therefore, as something weak, of low quality, bad.
DESIRE IS FIRE cause nothing is really on fire – there is no excitement. In this account of desire, the fire element describes intense emotions. An increase in temperature is connected to the emotional response. The metaphor is mixing psychological and physiological reaction: to be excited and feel excited about it, which causes an intense longing, a hot feeling in the body, a sense of really being alive – mapped as a FIRE, being produced by a spark, kept alive and fuelled, increase suddenly, flare-up, or even blaze. Intensity thus ranges from the absence of fire to being lukewarm, towards complete burning out.
Simbolizam vatre je dvojak: s jedne strane vatra stvara i oživljuje, a s druge uništava (druga vatra gori, treba je hitno ugasiti).
LIFE IS A JOURNEY metaphors shift focus away from winning, losing, or failing notions. Instead, they offer hope through individualized exploration (Hartley, 2012: 27). Reisfield & Wilson (2004: 4027) suggest journey metaphors advance reconceptualization by offering “different roads to travel, various avenues to explore, and, always, there are exits to take.” However, this close connection between roads and their function means that our imagined journeys on metaphorical roads are likely to follow the direction that vehicles on the road typically travel. And, by using the verb have to go, we are conceptualizing traveling on the road that has been already built – by someone else.
A road is not just a way of getting from one point to another: it means something more, not only in our everyday vernacular but also in our collective consciousness. The road is an instrument of entry and escape, a means to an end or a symbol of progress.
The questions that arise are: What is the destination? What if the side road is a blind alley?
The metaphorical highway is fairly often connected with easy, successful, or pleasant motion.
Usually, metaphorical highways may have a ‘positive’ semantic prosody. The side road is an artifact meant for slower and, therefore, possibly less efficient motion from one place to another. This concept’s abstract quality also explains the focus of the verbs on motion through space, on making way through space, and on finding the way through space – ACTION IS MOTION.
CLEANING AS PREPARING TO FIND OUT SOMETHING
“Few tasks are more like the torture of Sisyphus than housework, with its endless repetition. The clean becomes soiled, the soiled is made clean, over and over, day after day. The housewife wears herself out marking time: she makes nothing, simply perpetuates the present” (de Beauvoir, 1949).
Cleaning is conceptualized as taking the matter out of place. Something becomes dirty, and therefore in need of cleaning, when an extraneous element is introduced by an agent into a previously clean setting. Those metaphors are being used whenever one is faced with categorization tasks in which the conceptualizer decides which objects are allowed within the domain and which have no place in it (and should thus be cleaned out).
Cleaning can also take the meaning of being empty.
TIME IS INSANE
When we are metaphorically mapping human characteristics to abstract things, we are anthropomorphizing reality. We are projecting aspects of self onto reality to create a sense of self in relation to reality, as to provide a comparative framework for understanding.
These entities do not need to take the complete form of a human; just partial anthropomorphism (Guthrie, 1993) can evoke a human schema with the goal to evoke empathy – a key component in effective social interaction.
The features of the experience with going out of one’s mind are also going out of the matrix of normative thoughts, emotions, and actions. When we map it with the abstract term like TIME, we are anthropomorphizing it (time going through a psychotic episode – psychosis being the archetypal representation of madness), time is deeply convinced by the subjective experience of reality, though, what is understood by others to be real? TIME, being understood AS having A PSYCHE constructed from conscious and unconscious parts, where madness is presented as the domination of the more instinctual parts of the mind. The lived experience of psychosis is finding a new voice through mapping with the time, yet as still simply human.
ART-MAKING IS COOKING presents a unified conception of the art-making process by describing it as a process of mixing ideas, transforming them through ardor and inspiration, and waiting for the transformation to be complete. To cook an item of food requires two kinds of processes: we must actively combine ingredients, do preliminary preparation, or at least put the food in the microwave or oven; we often must wait to allow heat and/or time to make the food ready. In the examples here, what is most important is the taste or the aroma. It is interesting to compare art working and cooking as cooks and artists both create something of value from materials outside themselves, the quality of the materials influences the value of the product, the proportions of the materials influence the nature of what has been made. And they both wait.
Lakoff and Johnson (1980, 2003) demonstrating that a number of everyday expressions and idioms are coherent with overarching metaphors, provide examples of expressions coherent with the metaphorical concept of IDEAS ARE FOOD. Both cooking and art-making have to do with preparing IDEAS.
I BECOME TRANSPARENT
The transparency is not just a simple matter of seeing through, it is more delicate. The material becomes a trope to communicate openness. The connection literally and metaphorically of the artist with the public offers a visual and understanding metaphor for the new relationship that would be built on that way between those two. This kind of transparency is associated with utopian sentiments, with social justice issues: it marks honesty, integrity, and solution to many problems. Transparent, without mentioning its hardness, means good, building trust. The transparency creates trust. For a person to become opened and illuminated, it needs to become transparent. It becomes see through and understand through. As Lefebvre (1991) states: “The illusion of transparency goes hand in hand with a view of space as innocent, as free of traps or secret places. Anything hidden or dissimulated – and hence dangerous – is antagonistic to transparency, under whose reign everything can be taken in by a single glance from that mental eye which illuminates whatever it contemplates”.
Transparency is usually used as a good thing, though it can evoke the effect of camouflage in terms of blending within the surrounding.
It is interesting to remember that in some cultures, things also have a heart. And then, when touching an object, it involves a propensity for engagement, a sensitivity expressed as either being in touch with something else or being touched by it. Then the touching makes responsiveness possible, bi-directional. In this perspective, the world has feelings and responds to us as much as we respond to the world. Kasulis (2008) explains that even when we consider touching in its most mundane and limited physicality—the experience of tactile touch—we find reciprocal responsiveness: “When my finger is in contact with the table in front of me, my finger is simultaneously touching the table and being touched by it. From this perspective, the touch is in the betweenness of my finger and the table. We would not find it strange to say the “table resists” my finger’s passage through it.” I am therefore both the subject that is doing the touching as well as the object that is being touched (Ichikawa, 1991: 23 in Nagatomo, 1992: 19–20). The fact that when I am touching, I am also able to turn into an object that is capable of being touched. As Nagatomo writes, that further means that I am a thing among the shaped things in the world, and therefore acquire a contingency by virtue of the fact that I have the body qua object (1992: 20). For Ichikawa, the body is not an entity, but a relational existence between the other and the self.
In addition to their versatile physical functions, walls possess an immense measure of signification. The basic function is one of physical and psychological separation. Whether naturally formed or an artifact, whether, in a cave, a castle, or a city, walls offer security and protection to those residing behind them (Moore, 1979). Cognitivists would claim that the metaphoric scenario of being surrounded by a WALL is motivated by the CONTAINER image schema, where the structural elements of the interior, exterior, and boundary organize the construal of our subjective experience of being in and out of certain phenomenological states (Lakoff, 1987; Johnson, 1987; in Tay, 2013: 52) – the boundary is an insurmountable obstacle. Further on, general socio-cultural knowledge of walls and their role as socially and historically significant structures that have separated people from each other could directly motivate the association of walls with feelings of isolation, without invoking individual embodied experience of physical containment.
Pushing the walls down – confirms the conceptualization of a WALL as an undesirable confining entity. But there is a solution to put a door in it. The structural elements of INTERIOR, EXTERIOR, AND BOUNDARY are now proposed as a problem-solution framework. The WALL metaphor is shown to be realized in language by means of a host of linguistic metaphors that all conceptualize this WALL as a literal and metaphorical obstacle to entering some other space.
“Before I built a wall I’d ask to know -/ What I was walling in or walling out, -/ And to whom I was like to give offense. -/ Something there is that doesn’t love a wall” (Frost, 1914).
HOPE IS THE THING WITH FEATHERS, THAT PERCHES IN THE SOUL
The hope, just like a dream – explained by Charteris-Black (2005, 2011), serves as a narrative that spans geographical space and historical time. It is hope related to the future, being better than the present, “but the nature of these hopes varies according to the individual and the groups with whom he or she identifies”. Hope – can refer to the individual, as hopes are experienced individually, or, more metaphorically to social hopes, as when people unite to understand and realize a shared social purpose. Although the hope is related to future acts, it actually implies action or experience in the present.
In the notes of the essay “Paranoid Reading and Repetitive Reading, or You’re so Paranoid, You Probably Think This Essay is About You” (Sedgwick, 2003), Timothy Gould puts close the feeling of hope and the feeling of severe anxiety, to interpret Emily Dickinson’s poem: “Hope is the thing with feathers -/ That perches in the soul”. He suggests that the symptoms of flattering hope are somewhat like those of post-traumatic stress disorder, with the difference that the apparently absent cause of perturbation lies in the future rather than in the past.
In these verses, hope is metaphorically represented as a bird (as the only thing with feathers), sitting in the soul. Though the soul is an abstract space and can be imagined as very spacious, the bird is sitting there – and not flying, giving us the feeling that it has been caught in a kind of cage, and it is not free.