‘Well! I’ve often seen a cat without a grin’, thought Alice, ‘but a grin without a cat! It’s the most curious thing I ever saw in all my life! Lewis Caroll, Alice in Wonderland.
I revisited this morning essays on Dolls, a collection which includes essays about Heinrich Von Kleist, Charles Baudelaire and Rainer Maria Rilke. An intriguing collection of thoughts about dolls. Do dolls have souls? is the opening of the preface.
Dolls and gestures have lots in common, something that has intrigued me for quite a while, inspiring a few of the workshops and performances I have devised on presence. In particular Do not manifest. Act! But lets not distract our thoughts. Lets start by entertaining the idea that dolls like gestures have an invisible soul. Kleist claimed that dolls were suspended on a single string attached to their center of gravity. So they can move freely on the space, therefore their gestures are floating limbs that are control by natural forces.
The first image was taken in the forest on the way to the Rosskopf, Freiburg Germany, one can see the beauty of Kleist thought on doll. It is true that the wooden carved sculpture (thing) has something invisible. A gesture that is not visible yet seems alive. One can not see what is thinking, yet one can see something that one can explain. Or perhaps is the projection of one thought that allows to see something in between.
A gesture on the other hand gives me a similar feeling, with one difference, and that is that a gesture is categorize as it is language, a thought is not. Both have the possibility to pose something unknown within the known.
In art a gesture presents itself without anticipation, there are some gestures that have an existence without an explanation. Like innocence, something that is not ‘control’ by a thought. Something in its primordial form of sort. We have the tendency of thinking, dividing, categorizing and explaining things. Yet, there are things that cannot go through this process.
Innocence cannot be found in the intellect, and not in the experience, it is something that appears to one without existence.
‘The art of her’ and how I learn through a Potter about tactful gestures and more.
Ika Schilbok now in her 90’s has been a great inspiration to my work lately.
Of all the things I have learnt from her the one that comes as one of the most beautiful gesture, is how to be tactful. Tact in a potter’s practice is an important part of their everyday life. Not only when they work with clay but when burn and later apply the glaze. There is a lot of dedication as well as tactful. Objects that until I met her were only crockery now I appreciate the work on a cup. She filled somehow moments of the life of people with an almost silent gesture. Somehow and object that is there but is not. It does not accentuate its existence yet is present. Most of her life was the things she made…to be continued
I have 100 pieces from her that must be glazed and I ask myself: how can I translate or capture her freedom and tactful nature through the colour and my marks in her pieces? how can I if I can’t learn her technique? How to be a tactful listener using art and conversations?
I tactfully wait to find the answer. Until then keep an eye on the page as progress and exhibition will be published here.