How would you describe the philosophical meaning of your work?
The philosophical meaning of work of art
The first principle of existentialism is that existence precedes essence, meaning that unlike an egg timer that’s created for the purpose of cooking an egg, human beings have no particular purpose. It is only through our actions that we later start defining what our purpose in life is going to be. Man is nothing other than his own project.
My art having been born in difficult circumstances while I was in detention, was initially set out to prove that people can tame time and they can make it pass in their favour: Creation is the opposite of destruction, and therefore my work was meant to counteract the corrosive process of one wasting themselves away in isolation. With each work, I felt I was one step closer to successfully proving that point.
Yet, like mere physical objects, humans deceive themselves into thinking that they are predestined to be what they are, shifting the responsibility of their actions onto others or onto a moral code. In life, we commit ourselves and draw our own portrait, outside of which there is nothing.
So my few words, about how I would describe the philosophical meaning of my works lies in synergy with philosopher Simone de Beauvoir who notes that as children we shoulder no responsibility; we live in a ready-made world with ready-made values. As we mature and become acquainted with our freedom we can begin to take matters into our own hands.
However, many of us revert back to our childhood ways, trading freedom for security. Why?
Some of us are cut off from our goals; many of us are manipulated into pursuing desires that are not ours. We can be willed towards fruitless endeavors and therefore excluded from creating a meaningful future for ourselves.
The problem is that the oppressed often don’t know they are oppressed; they view the world as one that cannot change, as “a natural situation”. The only escape, according to de Beauvoir, is revolt. “The oppressed can fulfill his freedom as a man only in revolt.”
As famously stated: “Life is occupied in both perpetuating itself and surpassing itself; if all it does is maintain itself, then living is only not dying.”
December 6, 2017