Monday, May 11, 2009

UndoConstructs: Krishnamurti on images (interior, private)

(Linked from 'If you observe you will see that you have an image about yourself, ... [for instance] you have accumulated a great deal of experience, acquired a great deal of knowledge, which in itself creates ... the image of the expert. Why do we have images about ourselves? Those images separate people. If you have an image of yourself as Swiss or British or French and so on, that image not only distorts your observation of humanity but it also separates you from others. And wherever there is separation, division, there [will] be conflict — as there is conflict going on all over the world, the Arab against the Israeli, the Muslim against the Hindu, one Christian church against another. National division and economic division all result from images, ... and the brain clings to these images &mdash why? Is it because of our education, because of our culture in which the individual is most important and where the collective society is something totally different from the individual? That is part of our culture, part of our religious training and of our daily education. When one has an image about oneself as being British or American, that image gives one a certain security. That is fairly obvious. Having created the image about oneself that image becomes semi-permanent; behind that image, or in that image, one tries to find security, safety ... When one is related to another, however delicately, however subtly, psychically or physically, there is a response based on an image ... the image is slowly formed about the other person step by step; every reaction is remembered, adding to the image and stored up in the brain so that the relationship — it may be physical, sexual, or psychical — is actually between two images, one's own and the other's.'

Source: Krishnamurti in The Network of Thought, ISBN 0-06-064813-9, p40. Krishnamurti likens the condition of the human mind to the programming of a computer, and ruminates upon how to form an independent network of thought.

UndoConstructs: Where We Come From description by Lori Waxman

(Linked from 'In Emily Jacir's series "Where We Come From" (2002-2003), everything is quotidian. Her amateurish photos have a snapshot quality that wouldn't look out of place in most family albums. And the people, places and things captured by her digital camera are so commonplace they would hardly even bear inclusion in such albums: a girl and boy playing street soccer, someone wandering around the city, the paying of a bill, a family visit, a couple on a dinner date. Typical human moments experienced without much thought, as part of daily routines, around the world.

Except by Palestinians. Because being Palestinian can mean not being able to engage in actions most people take for granted. It can mean not being able to leave the Gaza Strip to buy a favourite liqueur or to enter Haifa just to hang out, or to travel from Bethlehem to Jerusalem to put flowers on a mother's grave. Living in the Gaza City with a Palestinian passport or in New York with a Lebanese passport or in Riyadh with a Jordanian passport can render even the most banal needs impossible.

It is these chores that Jacir fulfills, acting as a surrogate for Abier, Hana, Johnny, Fayez and dozens of other Palestinians for whom such everyday activities have been elevated by forces out of their control to the status of unrealizable desire. To them and a far-flung network of Palestinians across the globe, Jacir, a Palestinian artist armed with an American passport, posed the question: "If I could do something for you anywhere in Palestine, what would it be?"

She answered their simple requests by carrying them out. The photographs described above are her proofs of accomplishment. She hangs this photographic evidence alongside text panels that detail, in English and Arabic, the request in the recipient's own words as well as his or her name, birthplace, current residence, nationality (according to passport) and parents' birthplaces.'

Source: Lori Waxman, "Picturing Failure", Parachute 115, 2004.