Installation, 2023

We are not alone. In our bodies we carry lineages, not just in a biological sense, but in an ecological, political and spiritual sense too. Even as such, we remain sovereign beings; subjects, who are also entangled in collectives through the complexity of our shared existence.

What if we could see our entanglements with the world in physical space? Would they be symbolic strings, material or digital, simply representing our bonds? Or would they be more akin to an organ, an umbilical cord housing our aliveness, distributing it around our entire being, and further into the collective?

Through this work, I explore the idea of such an organ which acts as a hauntological boundary that both connects and separates us across space, but also across time and generations, fusing in our bodies that which no longer is, to what is yet to be. In this work, my body stays in these entanglements in three ways: through sound (soundscape), through visual representation (the umbilical cord), and through physical labor (weaving).

As the human species moves towards gender liberation, the umbilical cord will eventually cease to be a function of female bodies alone. But, right now, it still is predominantly so, and that carries the weight of the responsibility of women as the cord weavers of this world: what kind of worlds do we weave, and where do we draw our strings from?

The history of our civilization shows that some of our cruelest deeds have been done in the name of love and care: violence, abuse, lies, attempts to control our surrounding and those who are part of it. What are we trying to protect ourselves from? What are we afraid will happen if we give up control, and surrender to love?

This work offers a possible answer through sound, a descent into the dark belly of grief and a retrieval of joy as justice that we give to ourselves. While we often consider grief an emotional state we need to escape, this work proposes that it’s a process through which we can free ourselves from the cruelty of fear that sometimes flows through our unseen bonds, masked as love.

Given its practical nature, cord weaving falls under the category of “survival skills”. However, this work attempts to gauge a possible step beyond survival, through grief, and into aliveness.

* this installation was produced as a part of the show of the “DENES” award, organized by “Faculty of things that can’t be learned” in Skopje, North Macedonia. 

* photos by: Dijana Dimitrievska & Darko Stepic