The Mourning After: Duration’s Wisdom II
Artist: Erika Knerr
Cambio Constante V, Sepu Space,
Zaragosa, Spain, 2004
China Ink, Sepia and brown pigment on canvas.
22 feet (5 meters) square. Photos by Romuald Hazoumé.
Duration’s Wisdom II was made on the floor, by using a long handmade paintbrush. Twelve silver bowls were filled consecutively with black ink, brown pigment and water placed in a circle around the canvas. Dipping the brush into the bowls, placing it on the canvas and walking around the painting, she created a long circular, continuous line. Redipping the brush whenever needed, “I simply walked as long as I could around and around the canvas until I could walk no longer.”
The ritualistic circular walking performance was started one hour before the opening of the festival and continued 2 hours into the opening event. The three hour walk depicted a final stage of mourning as a piece in itself, made in response to the the Madrid bombings that took place a month prior. The work represents the end stages of the mourning process.
Durations Wisdom II evolved from a series of six paintings called “The Mourning After”. They are large paintings on canvas that visualize emotions tied to six stages of mourning and recovery: “Blinding Shock”, “Utopian Anger”, Grief’s Domain”, “Coping Dance”, “Memories Touch”, and “Duration’s Wisdom.” The first of “The Mourning After” paintings was made in NYC in 2003 in response to the inevitable threat of war, during the weeks preceding the invasion of Iraq. The forms create a visual flow through the grieving process and suggest that in the end the stages merge into each other, not having a clear beginning and end. The circular walk represents loss as an unending journey where one revisits the stages over and over; a walk where time and gradually moving away from the initial shock creates detachment and acceptance, but never is the emptiness refilled.
“The Mourning After” installation, Lance Fung Gallery, New York, 2003.
All Entries: September 2004
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