These are stills from a short film, From You, to Me, with Love, 2015 made for an exhibition, opening this September in Tokyo:
‘absolute now’ is a group exhibition which takes the essay, Time and Eternity by D.T. Suzuki (see left), as a starting point to examine the universal concept of time and its relationship to eternity.
In Time and Eternity, Suzuki concludes that ‘eternity is absolute now’ and that ‘a moment is eternity’. If this is so, we can stipulate that shifting time is made up of multiple absolute nows. The medium of moving image is structured from multiple still images over time to create an illusion of movement. In this exhibition, four artists from the UK and two from Japan will each present a new work which makes use of the moving image, such as video and film.
For this exhibition I have continued exploring the close bonds between four generations of women in my family: my grandmother (90), my mother, my daughter and myself. I am interested in how time is manifested and also experienced through these ties, not just on a biological level, but also on a psychological, emotional level.
Here some personal reflections on this ongoing project and the process behind it:
The process of filming becomes a form of meditation…Attention is focused, time is slowed down. Space is held, as if under a magnifying glass. Now I can see the way time is layered, I feel its immense weight.
The camera offers a space for reflection, both literal and metaphorical: the women, each other’s ancestors and descendants, stand here and now, in flesh, while also reflected in the camera, their image being captured and frozen in time. I feel that the four of us here, a brief excerpt along the very long line of our family’s history, articulate what otherwise remains unconscious, even abstract. I imagine us inserted and reflected within each other, like those infinite sequences of images in the hall of mirrors. Shared genes making us who we are, but also versions of each other, as we stand here, stretching in two directions: All the way into the unknown future, and all the way into the distant past. Four links along the chain of an unimaginably vast expanse of time.
The process of filming makes this chain feel tangible. And through this, an energy is being released. I feel empowered. Although still at its mercy, I am no longer completely blind to this ruthless biological process of replacement. I see something I did not see before, I have gained tiny bit of its power. But it is very hard to put into words.
Now I am reminded of what Jan Švankmajer said about the creative process being an act of ongoing self-liberation. This process of self-liberation is never completed, because by its very nature it cannot be. There is only the journey.
But for a moment, I feel more at peace.
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