Saturday, March 14, 2015

'A Cage if you will ' - behind the artwork

It is easy to paint a picture on the streets in a legal area.
You think of an issue and you pretend to do an artwork.
To what extent does it change the world?

I have painted that yesterday and I thought a lot about the work but also and foremost about the topic: forced child wedding. I went through an intense sleepless night talking and discussing with my brother Arnaud Missy and Fred !

I got many questions on my mind and rather followed a philosophical approach on my reasoning allowing myself to question without giving any answer or opinion.
I think a good writer or artist shall highlight a problem and have people to think about it, not giving an opinion.
There is a clear difference between an impulse ( idea, artwork) and a reaction ( act)
The foundation of the art of discussion is : objectivity.

This is how my logic cascaded down:

- what is child wedding and who is concerned? 
- are there sociological patterns which enable us to target specific populations ?
- does a girl who is getting married at 10 is conscious about the fact that she can have a choice ?
- to the core : does she know what choosing is ? Did she ever made a choice of any sort ? Or was she told how to talk? What to do ? What to wear? Conditioned ? 
- does she have a choice?
- is she culturally conditioned from young age to integrate to be married at 10 years old as a norm?
- what is the importance of tradition and culture in this pattern?

We as westerners, tend to debate and discuss topics located in countries, about cultures which are different than ours.
We , with our westerners eyes, impose a perception over something that we ignore.
Our perceptions are not the same because we culturally integrate different Norms in the patterns of our judgement.

We find it horrible and unacceptable to let a girl get married at the age of 10. Of course, this is not an element of our western culture and it even shocks with our liberty of expression and choice.
We find pictures of little girls wearing red lipstick and looking like they are women.
We find this shockin because we associate these visual elements with other concepts such as womanity, seduction, sexual energy, femme fatale.
That girl on the pic looks like a femme fatale. 

Do all the girls who are married at 10 look like this or is this just one image of the case ? 
Are we really sure that image is about a girl who gets married?
Where does that picture come from?
What is the reliability of the source?

So far,
I have not expressed any point of view.
I am asking you questions,
I am asking you to think , IN DEPTH.

I have visited some countries recently where I have seen women parked in buses and going to work for a weekly wage which may be the price of your daily  lunch. 
I have seen women being pushed in jail because they wanted the land of their parents to be freed from big lobbies.
I have seen a lake of a century, being dried.
I have seen those women protesting for nature, local life, and the safety of their kids.

I have seen people who never got a chance to go to school.
I have seen people who have no healthcare possibilities.
I was there painting abstract art on the walls. I was there to see the reality with my eyes.

I did not read this in a book.
I did not see a picture on Internet talking about how unfair the world is.
I have seen the truth being hidden, distorted and used for the sake of the most powerful people of this world : the top of the pyramid.

Getting back to my thinking on the topic of child wedding, I continued my internal questioning:
- does it make sense to produce art on a topic which is geographically located on the other side of the planet , in a legal graffiti zone?
- does it make sense to counter promote child wedding in an event called FEMME fierce.
- do we speak about children or women, women to become.

Getting back to what I have seen with my eyes in Europe:
- women beaten by their man
- women working for endless hours to feed their kids alone.
- women who are considered as less than men with equal skills.

I have seen how unfair the world is down my street.

I have seen:
- kids at work and community engagement.
- women fighting for the rights of their neighborhood.
- women sacrificing their life for their families.

And yesterday I saw a woman who said:
' I don't buy stuff,
My possessions come to me'.

I continued:
- what about the kids which are used for work? 
- what about the kids which are exploited for things I can't even write?
- what about kids who are raped and kids who are beaten by their parents....

NEXT DOOR to yours.

I would have loved to deal with a topic which may be a major concern . Highly represented in society, some of the topics aforementioned .

I got to think further:
- what is the role of Art in changing society ?
- what type of art actually has a changing impact on society?
- are there other things to consider to make the art impactful on society like a good promotion? 
- can art really change anything  ? Or does art only highlight ?
- to what extent an artwork placed in a European street can change a problem which is located thousand miles away?
- is this credible / legitimate ?


My artwork is ambiguous and shows my own questioning:

Objective elements of my artwork:
- A young woman is imprisoned in a bubble which seems to be a jail.
- Around it , the golden wedding ring with a diamond
- the ring and the cage are locked by a padlock all around her.
- there are black and white abstract organic patterns around it moving towards the right. 
- the background is vague and unclear, blue and red, with secondary various colours.

The cage may be a window.
A window from which we can see a young woman . It is not clear to see if she is inside a prison, or behind windows.
We can see her physically but we cannot see her universe. 
Where is she ? How does she feel?
Is she happy ? Or not ? How does her life feels like ?

One thing is certain; there is a boundary that we cannot cross between our world of perceptions and hers.

My answer : I don't know. Do you?

She can see us.
What does she think about us ?
Does she think the way we live is normal? Does she want to get out her universe and live the same life than we do with our norms ?
Are our Norms so different than hers ?
Are there analogies between that issue and some that we know in our western culture ?
Some similar issues that we stand and close our eyes upon while pointin at the neighbors issue? 

Can we even do a cultural separation?
Hasn't our world turned global and isn't our culture global too?

The ring is gold. The ring is symbol of Union and belonging. Could it be a talisman ? Could it be a protection?
Does marriage mean protection, and stability ?
For who?

Can I pretend I know what is is like to live someone else's life and to know what's best for that person?
Am I right ?
Do I hold the truth ?

Wouldn't it be more meaningful to paint that where that topic takes place ?
Does it require courage ?
Is it dangerous to do that ?
Do I fear anything ?

Does she have a choice now ?
Or later ?
Can she make that choice ?
What does she need to choose ?
Will she ?

What does being able to choose mean?
There is that saying that goes:
Choosing something means the renunciation of something else.

Those are the questions I had on my mind before I did the artwork and which are still pending.

In complete abstraction...
And so my life goes on in my abstract curvy patterns.
An invitation to escape the shit.
And just reimagine how our world can be good, nice and positive.
A world of change.
A world where nothing is for granted.
And where there are possibilities, opportunities, and HOPE.

Ps: excuse my French

Anthea Missy 

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