The project is defined by three main words: humanity; interaction and tension.
Humanity is a term used to describe people as a worldwide collective group and to describe what those people do, either individually or together to improve the lives of their fellow human beings.
Humans interact every second of their lives with their surroundings. This interaction can be between individuals; between a person and an object and between objects. These connections create different movements of forces depending on the actions.
Tension can develop as a result of certain situations, such as a feeling of fear or anger between people who do not trust each other. Tension is used in physics to describe the force of a pull and the action/reaction at the opposite end of the object – for example, people pulling at both ends of a rope will create tension on the rope.
An art piece creates tension between what a person sees and the image which is created in the person’s mind. There is always a space between interpretation and engagement and this gap represents a constant tension for humanity.
These three words: humanity; interaction and tension are the key components of my project. They are an integral part of my research and their meanings will be developed throughout this work.
Antony Gormley engages critically with human issues, with people as individuals, as members of collectives, as social beings and as objects, and he examines them in relation to space and nature. His overriding concerns are social and philosophical.
‘Gormley’s works are made to take their place in the world and in time, to speak of hope and resistance, of collective memory and experience. For him, sculpture is, in essence, a stone stood on end, still and silent, the mark of human presence and action, a sort of witness in time’.
This quote from the writer Herman Hesse is also very interesting:
‘Without words, without writing and without books there would be no history, there could be no concept of humanity.’ Herman Hesse.
Both these quotes connect culture with history. An artist’s concepts live on after their life through the legacy of their works. My question is this: can Performance Interaction also have a long-term impact on society? Does interaction, as a closed time frame, follow the same concept of humanity?
Sensory is an adjective that also has relevance to this project, although I feel that the word ‘tension’ is often more appropriate as it implies the presence of two elements represented by different materials.
I’m also interested in the way that thoughts and emotions can affect us physically and I would like to see this represented in art. Art depicting the link between the emotional and the physical could then be used as a tool to improve our overall sense of wellbeing.
Emotions and thoughts are active parts of humanity. It is easy to understand that, for example, fear affects us physically because it causes our heart rate to increase, but it is not universally acknowledged that loneliness; sadness or depression can also have adverse physical effects. I feel that we need to further explore the connection between mind and body and this should be reflected in art. Humanity needs a better understanding of this connection.
Woody Allen sums it up admirably: ‘I can’t express anger. That is one of the problems I have. I grow a tumour instead.’