Memories of my grandmother: day 3

Once my grandmother was alone with all the children on the pine covered island. Hers and her friends’ children were playing among the cliffs and twisted island pines. No new food would arrive until the next day so when the last pasta on the island fell into the dish-water she rinsed it off and served it anyway. She laughed guiltily remembering that dinner, one of the full children afterwards smilig up at her and happily stating “you always use the best spices!” It was a rainy summer that year and a lot of sea to the shore.

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Along the river Indalsälven by canoe.

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Roots by the shore.

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Fragment 5: bark shard from pine in the shape of an island.

No one is an island.

If I discard the inside but keep the surface, is the object still there?

While removing the dried skin tubes from the branch I’m hoping they will hold together on their own.

IMG_7759(Day 10: The empty pieces seems to hold their connections.)

What is the difference between the inside and the outside?

Stitch by stitch I’m enclosing a positive impression of a branch made of air, keeping it separated from the surrounding air which ends up having a negative branch shaped hole in it.

IMG_7771(Day 10: About a third done)

Is the function of the boundary to uphold the division between inside and outside? What if the boundary lets the inside out or the outside in?

Is that too simple?

In the book “A field guide to getting lost” I found the concept of “shul”. This word usually means a jewish place or context of worship, but it can also mean a mark left in the world. The author Rebecca Solnit describes it like this: “…shul is used to describe the scarred hollow in the ground where a house once stood, the channel worn through rock where a river runs in flood, the indentation in the grass where an animal slept last night. All of these are shul: the impression of something that was once there.”

IMG_7789(Day 11: The tips are the hardest to get off without breaking the branch.)

I’ve made a container that remembers its content but the content is gone. You could say that this container knows the shape of a branch because it was constructed around one, in the same way that new knowledge is built like bricks on top of the bricks of old knowledge.

IMG_7787(Day 13: Almost all the pieces done now!)

By making a hollow shell I start to understand that the border could be the only place where the inside and the outside can meet.

Is that too obvious?

Well, new knowledge to me: I draw unnecessary lines. I get stuck inside a defined tradition. Like I’m missing a membership card to the outside. Or maybe a get-out-of-jail-free-card. These boundaries are still too easy to see for me. I need to learn about doors. Or permeable materials.

I do understand the point of knowing your history though. Again: all new knowledge needs a foundation of old knowledge to build on. We continue on someone else’s conversations and add our own parts without them knowing. Maybe my conversation will be someone else’s starting point another time.

Is that too pretentious?

The artist Theaster Gates talks about how a “nothing-material” like clay or an abandoned building can be turned into a something, like a pot a or meeting place for art and people, but also how the materials carry memories and tell a story if you let them.

IMG_8144(Day15: Done and installed at Åsbacken, Västerljung for the Open Art days.)

In the search for clues of where my process could be leading me, I need to remember to take a step back and see what I’ve actually done. What is there in front of me. What the materials have turned into and what story they tell me.

I’m confused, possibly in a good way. Possibly I’m asking too many questions. Possibly I’m wrongly trying to figure out the “right way” of doing things.

Is that too critical?

Thank you to everyone who came and had interesting conversations with me during the exhibition days! To see someone tear up over something I created makes all the work worth it! 🙂 

Who are you, the ones that’s being heard?

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F.U.M.S.

Facility for Unreceived Message Storage

In the Unheard, the middle ground or no-mans-land of communication, the Facility of Unreceived Message Storage (F.U.M.S.)is the place of disposal for lost words. Every message in the endless rows and rows of storage units has been ignored, left unsaid or prevented by time, but is still traveling, it is still trying to reach it’s intended receiver. Very few of them ever leave those shelves once it has landed there though.

If you walk down the aisles maybe you can hear some of them whisper, but you can never fully know what they intended to say. Their time and context has passed, their voices have grown fixed and quiet inside these bottles and they where never intended for you anyway.

This is a sample of 71 unheard messages collected from 7 countries. 

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Once again, a big thank you to everyone who participated. The top picture is from the exhibition, the text under it the presentation.

Messages in bottles

Thank you everyone who entrusted me with your unheard messages! (Link to the project invitation) I have received around 70 so far, with some more on the way, and I feel very grateful to everyone who took the time to participate. I can not mention all your names, mostly because I don’t know them all.

Today has been the second day of casting and a small army of bottled messages is slowly emerging on the floor beside my work table.

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Unreceived messages/What was never heard

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I invite you to be part of my art project “Insulated – to be made into an island”.

In this stage of the project I want to highlight the feeling of not being heard, by enclosing messages that was never heard or received into unopenable bottles.

I will cast at least 80 bottles in silicone with the participators’ messages inside, making the message stick to and become part of the bottle. (Like in the picture below)
What I ask you to do is to write down (preferably in your handwriting), in any language you want, a message that was, or is, not heard. Something you tried to say but that wasn’t listened to. It can be “big” or “small”, political or personal, general or embarrassing, hopeful or angry, a solution or a problem or many other things.
If you don’t want to put your message in words you can instead choose a small object to represent what you wanted to say, the person you wanted to say it to or yourself as the unheard communicator.

This project will not make your message heard. You will instead be one of the many voices trying to get a message across but not being listened to.
My hope is that all these bottles with their unread messages standing alone but together will create a feeling of shouting silence and how difficult it can be to be heard today.

Should you choose to participate I will need your contribution by the 2nd of January to have time to cast all the bottles before the 12th of January when they will be part of an exhibition at Konstfack in Stockholm. The folded or rolled up letter or object can be as small as you like but must fit inside a cylinder, 5 cm wide and 9 cm long.
Please also tell me if it is ok that some part of your message is readable through the bottle!

For questions or to participate, please write to info@tildadalunde.se
Please share this with others that might be interested!

Quite concrete

Dear Poets,

You’ve told me that no one is an island. But also that everybody dies alone. Which is it? I’m finding it hard to figure out if I am an isolated container of life or if we’re all just reflections of the same thing, whatever that thing is. And you seem to be of every opinion. You probably don’t know either and in the meantime we keep pulling in both directions, drawing lines between people but doing almost anything to be allowed to belong.

Love, The Reader

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