'Gesture 7.2a' from 'The Joy of Loss'

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Catalogue essay...

The Joy of Loss?

The rite of our springtime is nurtured by physical and emotional privation manifesting wholistically.  It is an all or nothing equation, an essential absolute.

What joy could possibly come from this? 

Perhaps there is no joy in loss, ‘only [the] hope that what one feels will eventually go away, that “time will heal”, [that] one will be able to “rise above” and won’t sink and die. That instead, one will become a bottom-of-the-abyss feeder, the dweller feeding on crumbs of other peoples’ losses…[each] loss creating an abyss between oneself and the others, those lucky ones, still na├»ve and untouched’ (Kucharova, 2011).

But surely to live it, to taste it, to feel it, to hear it is a spiritual awakening, not the tolling of a nearing bell. It is not what it is, it is how it is dealt with; it is the unexpected, as is our resilience, our stamina, our compass travelling an unsteady difficult path through an intense but finite wilderness. And whilst it invades every thought and corrupts every action, the measure is in one’s ability to practice the ‘art of losing gracefully’ (Silva, 2011), emerging more complete than thought possible.

The Joy of Loss is not a treatise on fortitude. It is an exploration of the silences that embody loss: the unheard sounds, the unseen faces, the unspoken words. It is breath and it is pulse – and it continues long after the source of loss has faded into fluid, uncertain, grainy, disputable memory. Here it lives – perhaps transformed into a muted strength, perhaps existing as a living excuse – layering the ice, and cracking it when the great thaw succeeds in grasping a lungful of fresh air...

- David Sudmalis