Archive 2

Temporal illusions 2013-2015

Temporal illusions 2013-2015

Three dioramas (show boxes) hanged from the ceiling and an audio story.
Painted mdf, metal & door lens. Sculptures In the boxes made of Plasticine, papier-mâché, wood, plastic and clothe.
Size boxes: 50x26x26 cm / 50x44x50 / 50x50x26 cm (HxBxL)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Holmes_(mass_murderer)

Twenty years ago, on a dark summer night on the roof of a nightclub with a view of the harbor, I fell in love with a red-headed guy. Through the alternating disco lights his dancing looked like a slow-motion film. I secretly called him ‘Gingi’, which means ‘redhead’. I never asked him what his real name was. I was too shy, and he was too cool. I can still feel the pain in the lower part of my belly, the pain of the longing, of regretting not having the guts, the courage, to talk to him, just for one second, to give it a chance… no, I just kept watching his dreamlike whitened mask from a safe distance. I still ask myself: what is this magical, chemical material that makes one fall so deeply in love with a person one has never spoken to?

And then unexpectedly, on 24 July 2012, so many years later, I see him again, arising like a forgotten ghost from a photo on a newspaper page. He is still a good-looking young guy with a pale white skin, big green eyes with a melancholic gaze and a flame of dyed red hair. Two days earlier he had committed a deadly attack in a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado. It happened during the premiere night of the film Batman The Dark Knight. He killed 12 people and injured many many more.

I should have felt loathing or disgust. I should have been frightened of this guy, but instead I am feeling touched. A painful recognition strikes me; I see the tiredness, the shock, and the wish to be away, to sleep, to disappear for a moment and to wake up again in a different time and place.

I become obssesed with him and I want to know all about him, his life, background and his motivation for his horrific deeds. The Internet overloads me with information, speculations, conspiracy theories and loud news reporters who shout: “He looks so bizarre! Really peculiar! Like a shell without insides”. I read that his name is James Holmes, and that he is a PhD student of neuroscience. I discover that he is from a good family, and that his father is a mathematician and scientist (like mine, I think). Another article speculates that Holmes most probably suffered from a mental illness;
A month prior to the shooting his psychiatrist had reported him to the campus police as dangerous and a public threat. One title intrigues me the most: “How James Holmes Went From Shy Nerd To Accused Cold-Bloded Killer?“ A shy nerd? This combination of words echoes in me.

I am terrified with the thought: could I fall in love with a mass murderer? I have always had the tendency to be attracted to ‘lone wolves’ and ‘shy nerds’. They probably remind me of my brother; an angry, sad boy who conducted ‘scientific’ chemical experiments in the small kitchen of our childhood house. He loved mixing different substances, warming them up, watching the reactions and asking himself: what happens to ants when you burn them? How long can a fly survive when you put it in the freezer? Conclusion: cockroaches can survive the longest…

I have never claimed the ability to read people’s ‘aura’, but sometime one receives such a strong jolt of energy, that you don’t need special powers to recognize it, you just feel it like an electric shock, like a magnetic power field which pulls you into a black hole. It happens when one crawls so deep into oneself that one doesn’t let any energy out; one becomes as condenced and small, as the universe was before it started to expand. That’s how I saw my brother from time to time. This image of him, with this kind of energy, often returned to my mind, and I wanted to get rid of it. In an attempt to exorcise it, I painted it in poisonous tints of light green, yellow and white; this memory has remained carved in my mind.

I was always afraid of this energy, of its unpredictable quality. I always thought I could trust my intuition. I thought I would always be able to recognize ‘evil’. I had practiced it for so many years living in Jerusalem. In every busy location or in fully occupied public transport I used to examine every suspicious figure. An alarm would go off in my mind: A young guy entering the bus, with black clothes, black hair, unshaven beard, big black bag. Here! The next terror attack is coming! I would step off the bus. But the bus never exploded. So what would the ‘evil’ look like? I want to learn to recognize him, to be able to stop him on time, before he exploded with me! Or might it be that this terrorist is hiding in me? When will the explosion happen? When will the moment come when I will not be able to recognize myself in the mirror, when the eyes that look at me will not be my own?

I once had a dream. I was sitting isolated in an empty room with dark walls, awaiting trial. I was accused of murder and taken to jail. Shocked by the fact that I had been charged with such a terrible crime I tried to understand what had happened, but I couldn’t remember anything.

I was feeling terribly sorry for myself, and regretting all the years of doing nothing to come, all the development that would stop, all my potential that would never be realized. I would have to spend at least ten years in jail, if I were found guilty of such a crime. I felt sorry for my family too; what would happen to them when they found out? All the shame and the sadness it would cause them…
But then I felt a great relief, in my mind I had a solution and the proof of my innocence. It went simply like this: you see, I am a very visually oriented person, everything I see, I can remember, I keep images of everything in my mind. So if I don’t remember the incident, if I don’t have any images of the event, if my memory is clean, that means I must be innocent!

What you cannot remmember, cannot have happened! This accusation must be wrong! All events are linked to images stored in your grey cells; if there are no images that means it never happened! This is my conclusion and my evidence to the court! I can’t recall any images of the act therefore I am innocent. I am released.

Luckily this was just a dream, I think to myself, but to tell you the truth, I am still afraid of the next morning, because I know – sometimes dreams can come true.

And then I hear a hesitant voice whispering from the headphones on my desk: “Hello, I am James Holmes, don’t be afraid, I can explain it to you, I am a neuroscience student doing research about Subjective Experience. Subjective experience is what takes place inside the mind as opposed to the external world. Over the course of the summer I’ve been experimenting with a temporal illusion. It’s an illusion that allows you to change the past”…

Two different timelines overlap, I am floating, twenty years ago, I am on the roof of a nightclub with a view of the harbour on a dark summer night. I step lightly, dancing on tiptoes toward my Gingi, and with modest fluttering eyelids I say: “you have such beautiful red hair, is it natural?”, “is it really yours?”

I am relaxing, streching my legs, and smiling inside. He is smiling back to me.
I think I understand now.

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