On Distance and Dissonance
In this work, I wanted to look into my relationship with and within the artist collective U10 (Belgrade), and specifically, my physical distance to it, being that I am based in Vienna. The work resulted in an object/sound installation, consisting of a computer-spoken text and diorama which jointly represent a poetic contemplation on distance, remoteness, and the feeling of dissonance that results from communicating on a distance through emails and video conferencing. I wanted to show that we can be a part of different communities, even on a distance, but that our relationship with and within them can become somewhat skewed, creating a certain amount of confusion and distress, given the fact that in this case, we operate between at least two cultures, or realities. The work would not have been possible without the conceptual inputs and sound engineering by Pieter Gabriel.
Participating artsists: Lidija Delić, Nina Ivanović, Isidora Krstić, Iva Kuzmanović, Marija Šević, Sava Knežević, Nadežda Kirćanski, Andrea Dramićanin, Nemanja Nikolić, Nikola Grozdanović, Slavica Obradović, Milica Baltovski
Curated by Miloš Zec
Hello. Is anybody there? Oh hello stranger… In case you wondered, I am trapped in this box and I cannot see clearly outside. I am not sure when I got here. It could be days or even months ago. Everything is covered in a palpable fog and I cannot feel my body. There is only this bright light which is slowly beginning to hurt my eyes.”
The Mind has decided, by itself, to wander on its own, to find a host where it feels safe. All too often my body has terrorized the Mind. All too often, the Mind has terrorized my body.The machine provides a lot of comfort. The machine provides anonymity. The mind found comfort with the machine as it is protected. We project ourselves into technological apparatuses, where we borrow them parts of ourselves. They ease our burden. They accept to advocate on our behalves. The computer, screen and keyboard awaits. It exploits but also nurtures our very need for feeling intimacy and connection.
A muted silence. As usual. I feel the distance even when I don’t know to what. “I am here and I am not. I am far far away.”
It can make the body feel cold. It can be alienating. It can be sobering.
My mind tries to reach out to the nearest point of reference. It tries to find what was once near to it. Was it the body that was once close? My mind knows too well, how to levitate, how to fly, and to look from above. It knows distance very well, it has always been familiar. Perhaps, too familiar.
In distance, everything and nothing is under control.
Distance makes the heart grow fonder – so the saying goes. I feel addicted to the fondness. I enact the distance even when I am close. I perform myself on the outside. I race away from my body, competing with no one but myself.
I turn myself inside out. So that I do not have to look in.
All this, because it is safe. Safety is so delicious. On the distance, nothing can happen, and no one can get hurt. But yet, there are words, and there are conversations.
When we dream, we are distant to the object of our dream. With desire, there is always distance – distance to the object of our desire. In dreams and in desires, we are far. We need to be far in order to dream. And when we dream of distant places, they are usually warm and welcoming. A sandy beach or perhaps a cold mountain, there is always that better place. Far far away.
(Text from the sound recording)