On the exhibition FICF in Hengelo, two self-portraits of mine are to be seen.
I would like to write something about the self-portraits, and one in particular.
Both paintings are self-portraits and part of a larger series that I have been working on for two years. In each painting I highlight a part of myself that recognizes itself in a female figure from history / from society.
All paintings in the series are entitled ‘Unveiled’. Unveiled, literally unveiling, illuminating a certain part that dwells in me.
Image above: Unveiled # 1 – 200 x 140 cm – acrylic on linen 2016
Unveiled # 1 highlights two parts: A part that can feel totally separate (the woman with the umbrella) and a part that can feel totally connected (the Tantric goddess). Two states that can occur in every person …
Pictured is a young woman with her head hidden under an umbrella.
She is inside, in an old abandoned building, which stands for our outdated ideas about ‘the system’. About power, status and old dogmas.
Her head can not be seen, she is completely shut off from everything that happens around her, completely confiscated by her emotions and thoughts.
The other female figure is Chinnamasta, a Hindu Tantric goddess who makes love with her male counterpart Shiva. She has her head in her hand, her thinking has literally stopped and she achieves the state of non-duality.
At the same time it reflects the life of women in our contemporary society. The position of women is still a topical issue. After years of oppression, feminism got under way and where many people think that the woman is currently in ‘the same position’ as the man in this society, it suddenly seems like a senseless ‘victory’.
Because is this what the intention is? Women are not men, and what is the use of comparing them with each other?
As long as the woman with the umbrella maintains her thoughts and patterns from the ‘old system’ she continues to deny her own identity.
Chinnamasta surrendered in full femininity. She is naked, and more than that – she has cut off her head, because it is no longer necessary to think, to repeat the old patterns.
Chinnamasta makes love with Shiva, because to be completely female you need your male counterpart. Not to put you off against it but to recognize and feel your own femininity. Just as the light needs the darkness to be light.
She has entered a state of oneness and thus transcends this third dualistic dimension.
All this is also a metaphor for the current zeitgeist.
Because everyone ‘lives’ their lives with and through telephones and computers, you live a seeming life under your own umbrella. Completely individualistic, with ‘contacts’ that are only digital and therefore mainly in your head.
But this digital era has a downside.
It is not for nothing that there are currently more depressed and lonely people than ever before. And you also see a counter-movement. Everywhere there are initiatives to bring people back into contact with people.
These days people are more than ever searching for meaning, in order to find their way to the solution for our current individualism, which is based on the old power system.
And a way to fulfill the need to be in touch again from person to person.
And not from man to computer.
Karin Hoogesteger – november 2018
The exhibition is to be seen until the 9.december 2018
On Sunday December 9 there will be a finissage, welcome!