Places are like horcruxes, to love them means to leave a little of your soul there; the more places I love, the more fractured I become.
I've decided to grow some roots now.
an exploration of place
A study of how long it takes for a place to forget you (measured in moments/memory), 2015
Driftwood and glass
Place is a vague concept, one that has its ties in home and in identity. This exploration looked at a small but growing number of people in this generation who are more nomadic, living in various countries and working abroad. Within this circle there are few roots; instead these people move frequently, follow adventure and yearning for new experiences. The idea of home as a core place has begun to dissolve. Many of these nomads have not been home in several years. This absence becomes more pronounces as they miss many of the personal landmarks of their community: marriage, childbearing, and homeownership. Like sponges, the people left behind grow around the absences they left. Former homes return to places that have forgotten those who left them.
Driftwood, glass and steel
18" x 18" x 4.5"
While I am constantly thinking about place, I reapproached the concept of drifting and roots about a year later. I looked to use a difference glass technique (kiln cast instead of hot cast), and to show a more articulated transition, as this piece navigated away from the nomads that I encountered several years before during my travels, and instead focused on my own experience re-rooting in a new city. As New Orleans became my new place, I saw myself slip away from my childhood place—the divide grew and a clear binary emerged between presence and absence.
I realized a long time ago, as a child in a family addicted to travel, that to travel is to create our own personal horcruxes, meaning every time we connect to a place we leave a little of ourselves there. It’s a small piece we can never get back. To love people in many places, and love ourselves in those places too, means we can never truly be whole. We can never bring all those places and people and pieces together at the same time.
I travel less now.
In a fantastical effort to create a place where all my horcruxes come together, and where I get to be whole, I often think about how place can be transported. I developed this concept of Neitheré—a consolidation of the phrases either here, either there, neither here, neither there. This word represents my perpetual conundrum. I can never be in multiple places at once. I must always pick—except for in a fantasy world.
To create my world of Neitheré, I started documenting the walls of places that I grew up in, formally, or informally. My grandfather’s house, our family cabin in Austria where I spent much of my childhood, the walls of my childhood home. When I eventually solve the looming conundrum of divided space, perhaps I’ll create a space that allows for all these homes to exist simultaneously.