Monday, 11 December 2017

December 15th blog post

Dec 15th, 2017 blog post

During this last month I have been working on new paintings, have put an English voice-over in my video, and discovered and am reading a very good book by Judith Herman : Trauma and Recovery, The Aftermath of Violence – From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror. Harvard University Press, Cambridge Massachusetts, 1997.

I also finished Gunhild Buse’s Macht, Moral und Weiblichkeit, eine feministisch-theologische Auseinandersetzung mit Carol Gilligan and Frigga Haug (Power, Moral and Femininity, a feministic-theological debate with Carol Gilligan and Frigga Haug, Matthias Gruenewald Verlag, Mainz, Germany, 1993. 

1.  Painting

In this painting ‘Atrocities refuse to be buried’ I had originally intended to paint a landscape with a grandfather and a child (bottom left quarter) walking towards the horizon. Once I drew this image, I had to let go of that representation. I preferred to add a big black cloud filled with words that I would cover with tar. I question moral and am quoting Marx in my text in the painting : ‘Wo Moral auftaucht, haben die Menschen die Zustaendigkeit ueber den Zusammenhang ihrer Handlungen verloren’, Page 74, Macht, Moral, Weiblichkeit, Gemhilde Buse. (Wherever moral emerges/appears, people have lost the responsibility of the context of their actions/doings.

When I was a child already I was wondering why it was possible for people to go to church and have their sins forgiven. People who sexually abuse children should be going to jail. Charges have to be pressed against perpetrators and they need to be trialed. Growing up in Germany after the war meant living in a society where sexual child abuse was a bagatelle.

This painting is unstretched, 8'x11.5', 96 x 138 inches, 244 x 351 cm, tar, acrylic, oil, pastel and charcoal on Canvas. December, 2017.

The title of this painting is ‘The ordinary response to atrocities is to banish them from consciousness. Certain violations of the social compact are too terrible to utter aloud: this is the meaning of the word unspeakable’.

This is the text I wrote with pastel on top of the paint, then I responded with a text in stencils, ‘Atrocities, however, refuse to be buried’. Both are quotes from Judith Herman’s book Trauma and Recovery. This book was very helpful for me in my research about my past and for the creation of the video and these paintings. It is very hard to put some of the experiences in own words.

This painting is stretched, 54 by 108 inches, tar, acrylic, oil, pastel and charcoal on canvas, November 2017

The next painting’s title is ‘Remembering and telling the truth about terrible events are prerequisites both for the restoration of the social order and for the healing of individual victims’.
The text in stencils says: ‘To speak is to invite the stigma that attaches to victims’.

This painting is stretched, 54 by 108 inches, 137 cm x 274 cm, tar, acrylic, oil, pastel and charcoal on canvas, December 2017

This painting’ s title is “We need to understand the past in order to reclaim the present and the future. An understanding of psychological trauma begins with rediscovering history” This is referring to Judith Herman’s Trauma and Recovery,

I was writing this text as a response to the other text in this painting ‘Reiss Dich zusammen’ (Pull yourself together) a sentence I would hear from my mother when I said I did not want to go to the Grandparent’s house. Why did she not protect me? Why was she not wondering why I did not speak? Why did she not want to know why I did not want to go there? A whole life is altered and damaged by childhood abuse. My whole being is a consequence of what happened to me in my childhood. My readings really helped me to work through this theme.

"Thus, even those children who manage to develop the semblance of a social life experience it as inauthentic. The abused child is isolated from other family members as well as from the wider social world. She perceives daily, not only that the most powerful adult in her intimate world is dangerous to her, but also that the other adults who are responsible for her care do not protect her. The reasons for this protective failure are in some sense immaterial to the child victim, who experiences it at best as a sign of indifference and at worst as complicit betrayal. From the child’s point of view, the parent disarmed by secrecy should have known; if she cared enough, she would have found out. The parent disarmed by intimidation should have intervened; if she cared enough, she would have fought. The child feels that she has been abandoned to her fate, and this abandonment is often resented more keenly than the abuse itself”

(from "Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence--From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror (English Edition)" by Judith L. Herman)
Page 109

This painting is un-stretched, 8’x11.5’, 96 x 138 inches, 244 x 351 cm, tar, acrylic, oil, pastel and charcoal on canvas, November 2017

2. Video

I had created a voice-over version  of my film History and Personal Memory:

I also selected a short excerpt out of the film under which I put subtitles. After having seen the film several times now, and spoken to my critique group about it, I think I need to use this voice over version, even though I think my voice sounds awkward in English, but the subtitles don’t work because the viewer does not concentrate on the images anymore.

During the next weeks I will need to rerecord my English voice-over.

3. News

       I have fantastic news my film ‘Meanwhile in LalaLand’ of which I showed an excerpt in Berlin has been accepted into the official selection of the Manchester Film Festival in March 2018.  Unfortunately, I don’t own the music rights, but I just bought the rights to a very similar song and now need to reedit the film to make it work with the new song. Also I need to create a press kit with press texts, create a short trailer, photos etc.

      Also, I have just been notified that my new film ‘History and Personal Memory’ is a semi finalist for the Germany United Film Festival which happens in Berlin in January 2018. I will be notified next week. 
      Same here, I need to create a press kit with texts for the press and reedit the film with a music score I just bought the rights for…..

No comments:

Post a Comment