30 November 2015

 "One cannot celebrate life if he's afraid of death."

This weekend I tried to escape my thinking self and all the worries it had brought to life. I accomplished this, if only for a few moments, by doing what I do best, stuffing myself with sweetness and get visually stimulated. 

Sometimes I notice that a certain object or symbol frequently appears during a certain period of time. I used to think of this as a coincidence, but now, in an attempt to make life more magical, I think of it as little gifts from the universe. Through the recurring symbols, or objects, the universe tries to teach something, it tries to make me aware of something that I ought to know. And I started to pay a lot more attention to these moments.

During this weekend the symbol that I found again and again was the skull

Where I first saw it appear in the new James Bond movie Spectre, I saw it again in the inspirational S/S13 collection by Lena Hoschek and in the spectacular current exhibition at the museum Sculpture by the Sea in The Hague.

Jan Fabre - Skull with Red-Breasted Goose (2015)                                   Carolein Smit - Margaretha (2015)    

Jan Fabre - Skull with Skunk (2015)                                                   Iris Le Rütte - Untitled (2008)

Just now I remembered an art piece at an exhibition that I visited last month. The artist Mathias Kessler did an extraordinary thing with an actual human skull. He had put a skull in an aquarium and decorated it with living sea anemones and let a small clownfish and two shrimps dance around it. By doing so I believe he changed the meaning of the skull as a symbol. Instead of making it a symbol for death, he translated it, through the use of the carbon cycle, into a symbol for a new beginning.

This strange and beautiful installation did not solely make me feel eerie, it also made me feel calm. The gentle sound of the water rushing trough the filter, the soft saturated light and the bright colors of the organisms made it feel like a celebration of life. It seemed, to me, as if the artist tried to explain that, in order to live, you must make use death. 

"Every beginning is an ending."