Falling open to the world

In the beautiful conversation between Ann Hamilton and Krista Tippett, which I wrote about earlier this spring, Hamilton is formulating very nicely some of the yet unfinished thoughts I have been struggling with the last couple of months. As I see it, she is figuring out some of the things I hoped that Alain deBotton would grasp – but didn’t. Here are some clippings from the above mentioned conversation:


  • What are the circumstances for we ? – that I can enjoy the pleasure of something I’m seeing here, knowing that I’m also sharing this pleasure with the person next to me.
  • There is an interesting kind of intimacy with this total stranger, which the situation makes possible. And that this can change our whole day. We are alone together.
  • Maybe too much togetherness makes us really nervous.
  • Finding our own presence, our own gestures, in relation to a larger presence or being: across time, space and cultures.
  • As an artist working today: How can we create a circumstance in which those kinds of processes in joining and acknowledging can occur.
  • Labor is a kind of knowing. An evidence of someone else’s body in the object. 
  • The museum can be (like) a sacred place, soaked in beauty. A place where air and time feels different – calm.

ANN HAMILTON: the event of a thread (2012), Park Avenue Armory, New York

I find the idea of the sacred, as formulated by Hamilton – not as a relation to God, but to a greater, collective non-individual being, incredibly fruitful when thinking about art. Being alone together, being quiet together, letting our body connect to something outside of logic – this is what religion used to do for us, but for many of us no longer have  the power to do. But I wonder; can art? These are the things I like to study.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Mary says:

    There is something profound in the collective focused on art, secretly interpreting what they see by the rapt look on their faces. There is a desire to nudge the person beside you and exclaim your wonder, but a another desire to respect the peace and let the moment be contained within you.

    1. Sigrun says:

      Exactly, a feeling of togetherness while still having room & space for ones own thoughts and feelings.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.