Strange Mess

Strange Mess

A solo-exhibition at The Luminary in St. Louis, MO; presented in partnership with ACRE.

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“The world is a mess. I inherited a mess.” [1] 

“We cannot live human lives without energy and attention, nor without making choices which show that we take some things more seriously than others. Yet we have always available a point of view outside the particular form of ourselves, from which the seriousness appears gratuitous. These two inescapable viewpoints collide in us, and that is what makes life absurd. It is absurd because we ignore the doubts that we know cannot be settled, continuing to live with nearly undiminished seriousness in spite of them.

What we say to convey the absurdity of our lives often has to do with space or time: we are tiny specks in the infinite vastness of the universe; our lives are mere instants even on a geological time scale, let alone a cosmic one; we will all be dead any minute. But of course none of these evident facts can be what makes life absurd, if it is absurd. For suppose we lived forever; would not a life that is absurd if it lasts seventy years be infinitely absurd if it lasted through eternity? And if our lives are absurd given our present size, why would they be any less absurd if we filled the universe…?

In viewing ourselves from a perspective broader than we can occupy in the flesh, we become spectators of our own lives. We cannot do very much as pure spectators of our own lives, so we continue to lead them, and devote ourselves to what we are able at the same time to view as no more than a curiosity, like the ritual of an alien religion.” [2]

“Only by learning to live in harmony with your contradictions can you keep it all afloat.” [3] 

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[1] Donald J. Drumpf
     45th President of the United States of America
     February 16th, 2017

[2] Excerpts from Thomas Nagel’s The Absurd, published in The Journal of Philosophy,    
     Vol. 68, No. 20, Sixty-Eighth Annual Meeting of the American Philosophical  

     Association Eastern Division (October 21st, 1971), pp. 716-727

[3] Audre Lorde, from “Audre Lorde: An Interview.” With Karla Hammond. Denver
     Quarterly 16 (1981): 10-27.