I was watching a documentary on Christo (and Jeanne-Claude) on the BBC the other evening exploring his new installation, the Mastaba, in London (more here).
Not only… But I am also in awe of Marina Abramović (here) and I was wondering if I like those two artists because they come from a land very close to mine; because they are “borderline”. They are people who live and breathe borders and boundaries, in multiple shapes and forms.
One is Serbian, the other one is Bulgarian. They have lived and worked in countries which did not belong to them, where the cultures, languages, pasts, politics were (and still are) so different from the ones of their birth. There is a sense of appetite for learning and adaptation, and then to break rules and conditioning, in both of them. A desire to hold off an internal melancholy with bright colours and bold statements. And, Gosh, also so much in me! The Slavonic feel that both exude reminds me very much of home, of my land, of “me tiare“.
I come from a land which has always been defined as “a land of transit”: no one ever stops. People just transit. It’s a land of passages, of crossing.
People drive through to go to Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Venice (on the other side of the large river). People move. The Others move.
We tend to stay. We tell stories, sing old songs, eat earthy food, look at the stars, sigh and understand it all. Our language and culture are defined by the bastardization of Latin, Celt and Gothic languages, Slavonic influences, pagan myths, dark soil, home wine, and the tremors of the land. Some of us heard the call from the other side of the river (or Channel) and left. But sooner or later, we all go back.
So, the other night, in a moment of deep emotional homelessness, I did this:
Because to me, that is enough to remind me of where I come from.
SELF•REFL: I can only be me, even while I am making art. And being a Friulian is part of me. As per the piece: I had an old canvass which was already painted on by someone else. I was so eager to paint that evening, that before dinner I covered it with simple white wall paint. It wasn’t dry enough, the Guache I used diluted the white wall paint, … it was a mess. And I don’t like to see the strokes. In my mind, I imagined it bright, defined borders, no strokes. Still, it looks better in my kitchen, then photographed. I will definitely try to use the concept though in other exercises, maybe trying to see the borders in different ways…
#christoandjeanneclaude #artblackburn #london #blackburncollege #christo #borderline #marinaabramovic #friuli #mastaba