To Present What Has Already Past, 2015, solo exhibition at The University of Wisconsin, WI, USA
In the fall and winter of 2012, I travelled to India to learn about the country’s rich traditions of manufacturing glass bangles by spinning thin glass threads around a fast rotating, steel mandrel.
The spinning of thread and the cutting of it, occurs as a metaphor for life and death in many mythologies and religions, and is often expressed in the image of pagan, female deities. The Greek Moirai, the three sisters, respectively spun the thread of life, measured it and cut it when the time came to die. The Scandinavian equivalents were the Norns and the Valkyries.
As a tangent to the purpose of my trip, I went to the holy town of Kanchipuram to the office of the Naadi Astrologers to see if they could find my palm leaf, and I could have my past, present, and future life unfolded. In short, Naadi astrology is based on the belief that the past, present, and future lives of all human beings were foreseen by Hindu sages in ancient time, and written onto palm leaves available in the state of Tamil Nadu. Naadi mostly talks about material things like getting a job, construction of a house, marriage, children, curing a disease, supporting your relatives etc. It is very ’hands on’ in foreseeing the future, and thus, seemed surprisingly rational in a sea of chaos.
The pieces in this exhibition are based on the five handwritten pages in Tamil that are the prophecy of my future life, as it was foreseen on November 17, 2012.
Photographs by Stephanie Sara Lifshutz.