Looking back: Raking project 2014

Sometimes it takes time to understand one’s own art. When Belit Sag, in the class on Wednesday, talked about her film And the image gazes back (2014) she said that it was only recently, three years later, that she had started to articulate things about the movie.

While organising my files on my computer today I stumbled upon an old project from Novemeber 2014 that I never managed to finish, it was too unclear what it was about. Now I want to see if I can articulate better, with more than two more years of experience and art education.

The project was initiated when I was starting to apply for art schools. I tried to make art but was completely unsure of what I wanted to do and communicate. I was very frustrated, it was the first time in my life that I didn’t have a fixed full time schedule. I felt excessive, as I didn’t fill a function in society. So I decided to do something about it.

On the 3rd of November 2014 I bought a red rake. I was going to to rake leaves.

I lived in a house complex with a shared inner yard with a lawn and some trees. There was a lot of leaves that I could rake. I installed a camera on my balcony and went down to rake. I didn’t write anything at the time about my experience but I want to remember feeling a little pleased with activating my body and feeling closer to my neighbours even though they didn’t know about my intentions.

These are things that I always come back to: 1) Finding ways to engage the body in a modern life characterised by sitting still in chairs (over)stimulating the brain 2) Sense of community 3) Repetition and everyday/mundane things/practices.

I think this work is about rejecting the ego – in making art but also in living in a capitalist society in general. My practice is not about me, it is about what I can give to others. I have a talent for visual image-making and people appreciate images but it is not a necessity and I think it is important to stay humble as an artist.

The work is currently a 30 min video (would be appropriate as a loop) shot at three consecutive days. The first two days I rake and on the third day it snowed and I stayed inside. You see that new leaves fall over night, making it kind of a Sisyphus job.

Maybe it would be more interesting if I’d kept up with it for more days. To me it feels like a little failure that I didn’t.



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