Our Article Writer Katie Charleston visits BUMF Gallery Exhibitiom ‘Half of Me is in the Past’.
Yesterday saw the busy opening of ‘Half Of Me Is In The Past’, featuring work by Igor Moritz, Maria Secio, Dareos Khalili, Emile Kees Heywood, and Natasha Mabille. The exhibition explores the link between time and memory, where the artists allow us a glimpse of moments from their pasts, and was also fundraising for ‘Traces’- a short film by Diago Lopes. Their concept is explored through an assortment of mediums, from paintings, to photographic prints hung by wooden clips, to words, wilting flowers, and fabric layered with printed image. Even placement varies, with some images seemingly upside down. It’s that familiar balance of organised chaos.
I realised what I was looking at were glimpses of connections from someone else’s mind. Something so very personal, I could never hope to know the meaning within it. It’s like looking at a reflection through a broken mirror, fragments never quite forming the whole; I would never be able to see that clear concept in the artists’ mind. However, the beautiful thing is that it evokes thoughts and feelings from your own memories. Stories you can only half guess at, that can only ever be informed by your own experiences.
While the wine was flowing and groups gathered together, I couldn’t help but take my eyes away from the work for a moment, and just observe the people. How their eyes navigated the environment, their reactions, and the hubbub of conversation. A pair stood near me, with cigarettes balanced behind their ears, were asking each other “Do you think this could mean -insert far fetched explanation here-, or am I just being pretentious, trying to understand it all?”. Maybe we don’t need to understand, we just need to appreciate. There is a beauty in speculating someone else’s thoughts and experiences, only to achieve a reflection of our own.
In his statement, Moritz writes “art shouldn’t be restricted to an image which purpose is merely to provoke an overcomplicated philosophical exercise, but rather show the beauty and purity of life when you concentrate on simply being without overanalysing it”. That’s what I am trying not to do. But we naturally do analyse the world around us, we take in information and draw conclusions, to help us understand and interpret our experiences, to make order and sense of the world. Perhaps art like this can serve as a pause switch, forcing us for just a moment, to accept that not everything can be understood, and not everything should be understood.
The artists, emanating pride, made me wonder whether they would remember this moment in time when they think back at this project, or whether the process will be what sticks with them. As Mabille said, it is the process that is most important. This was a thought-provoking exhibition, even if the thoughts centre around how, perhaps, we should restrain from actively trying to interpret it at all. If you have a moment, go and see it, before it, too, is in the past, and draw your own conclusions. Take a moment to reflect on your experiences. Or, you know, don’t.