In all my sketching and thinking about this project the words that kept bouncing around in my head were, “liminal spaces.” We are in an incredibly intense confluence of before/after moments in human history; pandemic, climate change, rise (again) of totalitarian despots, etc. I have been mostly thinking about the liminal space of the COVID-19 pandemic. Standing on a beach staring at the point where the ocean meets the sky feels like an apt metaphor for the space we are occupying; we are neither going into the pandemic nor getting out of it.
Colin Gardner, one of my MFA advisors often used the phrase, “the gaping maw of the sublime” and it has come back to me again and again over the last 18 months. Like Caspar David Friedrich’s “Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog,” I feel as though we’ve spent these months like Friedrich’s “Wanderer,” staring directly into that selfsame maw, trying to square that view with our lives; our jobs, our kids, our relationships, our desire to grab a bag of chips after lunch.
For my piece I took the subject out so the viewer is seeing this with their own eyes, inserting themselves directly into the liminal space, directly into the in-between.
Sleepwalking or sleepwaking.