This project is an interactive/narrative installation which follows the story of a house and the loss of its only inhabitant; Simon.
This is a work made for small intitiatives from the visitor, like the pulling of strings and the opening/closing of doors. It warrants interaction and I'm not sure that I have the skill to communicate it over a digital platform, but the focus is this:
You walk into a house that has been left behind, and by being left behind you find it is in a paradoxical stasis; forced into a future of inevitable decay, while also suspended within an unchanging moment in time. Faced with its own lack of agency it calls for Simon to return; conflicted with its own wanting for change, and its deeper desire to preserve itself and go back to 'what was'.
Simon in leaving has metamorphosed into a Jackal. And even if he were to try, his paws can no longer open the door.
The house nurtures its memories of Simon and in doing so attempts to curate an impossible story without time or consequence, where Simon can return home as he was, and remain cared for by the home that loves him. As the house holds on to ghosts and memories, it perhaps unknowingly enshrines the changes that led to Simon leaving, and the metamorphosis that made him unrecognisable. Using the symbolism of the jackal and references to cult mythology (personal and impersonal), an intimate relationship emerges between inside and outside, domestic and feral, nurture and entrapment, animate and inanimate; between Simon, and the home that misses him.
This was a thesis written at Leiden University as part of the double degree program. It takes a look into the relationship between art and evil, and argues in favor of the role of the artist as exorcist at the beginning of the 20th century.
The relationship between art and evil is not a generously discussed topic within the realm of art history. Indeed, the term ‘evil’ itself is heavy, weighed down with varying extremes and deep subjectivity. Furthermore, it is largely void of a robust academic standing, being used in opposition to questions of morality, but not often approached as a flexible, adaptive, and complex theoretical concept. Although this means that evil has been largely outcast due to its phantasmal nature, the goal of this thesis is not to wrestle it into any singular, digestible definition. Rather, this study takes the most important role of evil to be the manner in which it informs us about our relation to the ‘self’. As will be discussed in later contemplations of Carl Jung's theory of the ‘shadow’ and Wilma Sütö’s argument for exorcism, this study approaches evil in its deep intertwinement with how we relate and construct the world around us. Evil, in its connection to our own fears, pain, longing and suffering, is able to embody our crucial reconciliation with the terrifying precariousness of the human condition.