On my way home

 




20/1/2017

 

 

 

I am honest, I said honestly.

 

 

 

The art world I thought, would be my last station, this should be my home. I knew not even one contemporary artist when I applied to the Royal College of Art except Marina Abramovic. History of art zero - not that I am an expert now. For the interview I did a quick research and wrote down the names of some artists and artworks I’ve never heard before. I hided my notes under my laptop. What do you have to offer, why should we take you? they asked me at some point. I am honest, I said honestly.

 

 

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06/02/2017

 

Groundless.

 

 

 

Thank God RCA needs money and accepts all kind of losers that apply, so I get in. I hope no one will notice that I am completely out of place but I stink ignorance. My will to stand out does once again a great job but not in the desired direction. I speak shamelessly of my ideas, I throw them out there, big heavy stones, but there is no ground for them to land on. They remain there, floating in the void, out of any context as I know no context. And they betray me.

 

 

 

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30/10/2018

 

 

The exception.

 

 

 

A really old school pathway leader does not help at all my struggle to adapt. A year of a 9,500 pounds fee thrown on a department teaching performance art stuck in the 80s and in long conversations about authenticity, performance Vs theater and other boring stuff. I throw up. I shout to whoever asks that I don’t go to exhibitions because they bore me, my work comes from within. People laugh. I don’t understand.

 

It is difficult to be a genius amongst losers, I say to myself, and I abandon Performance to join the Moving Image pathway. Not due to my art but rather due to the party animal that I am, I make my first friends. After a couple of drinks my friend confesses: I know what I’m saying is kinda bad but people with no artistic background shouldn’t have been accepted at our Uni, and I say, But mate I don’t have an artistic background. ‘Yes but you know what I mean, I am not talking about you of course!’ he answers.

 

Oh, I know exactly what you mean, you and my Greek high school classmates who were shamelessly stating in front of their Albanian friends that Albanians should go back to Albania and stop ruining our country, but not you of course , you are the exception

 

 

 

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08/11/2018

 

 

Sush.

 


 

Go to exhibitions, they tell me, and now I go to exhibitions and I pay with the money I don’t have to see them and I don’t like them, in fact I don’t like art, but I guess that’s fine, no artist likes fellow artist’s art, they find it “interesting”, what does this interesting mean, it brakes my nerves when I hear this word, I hate it, interesting, I don’t like interesting, I don’t want interesting, I want immersive, extraordinary, risky, funny, sad or at least bad, very bad, but please not interesting, don’t ever throw this word on me again cause I’ll chew it and spit it in your face, You’re interesting, I’ll tell you, but I’m not, I’m fucking dying, I’m hungry, hungry for things that fill the void, or point it, or question it, or play with my mind, my soul and my whole existence, but again, I guess knowing what other artists do makes me an artist as well, I know now a bit of what’s going on around me and I guess that’s good, you need to keep yourself informed, you need to know, they tell me and I believe them, and I follow and I try, I really do, I go to shows and to exhibitions and I get more and more tired, too many people, too much talking from which no one gets nothing back, and connections, it’s all about connections, find the curators and lick their ass like the dogs are licking their bones, remind them that you exist, that you’re really contemporary, climate change, post-colonialism, VR, AI, I am so interested yes, yes, and no one knows me and that hurts, oh my heart just hit me from the inside, The plan was that they knew you by now you idiot, she tells me, my heart, my week, fragile, scared, angry, hungry, heart.

 

Sushhh, I whisper, so that no one would listen, sushhh cause if they hear you they’re gonna throw me out. Sush, there’s no place in the art world for you, in fact there’s no place for you at all, sush, just die in there and leave me alone, sush, die before it’s too late, die, just die die die.

 

 

 

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30/03/2019

 

 

 

Scurgriness.

 

 


My heart won’t die and I make a place for her instead. I invent Scurgriness, a word for whatever is left outside, So here you are, I say to her, Here’s a new home for you and your friend. I will make this real, I promise as I leave, I will make it as valid as God themself. But to do this, I have to get inside first.

 

 

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26/09/2019

 

 

 

Once an Outsider always an Outsider.

 

 


And God listens and God laughs: Once an outsider always an outsider! And the whole earth hears and laughs with them, and the whole universe stops moving for a moment to laugh with them, and the people, oh all the people laugh from the bottom of their heart, hahaha, how nice, how beautiful to take a moment off and laugh, just laugh, laugh. At me.

 

And I close my ears, I hold them tight, and I close my eyes and I close all the holes , that’s how it works, I just need to close them one by one, to understand, to build this ground that I lack. And I start reading again and suddenly I realise: Oh my God, I’m not an artist, I’m a philosopher!!!

 

 

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13/10/2019

 

I hate knowledge.

 


 

Inner Experience Is Not Psychosis: Bataille's Ethics and Lacanian Subjectivity.[1] I am about to start writing my PhD research proposal when Academia sends me this text of Andrew Ryder. I am reading it as at this period I have convinced myself I am psychotic; Another title I gave myself and I try to act. Ryder claims Lacan’s reading of Freud’s reading of Schreber is not complete. He claims that Bataille is not a psychotic – Lacan has misread his case. Lacan formed his theory after reading Deleuze’s theory on Freud’s theory etc. A world full of questions, of a wo/man’s certainty questioning another wo/man’s certainty[2]. But what else has history taught us than the delusional nature of objectivity, which is nothing else than a complex mix of subjectivities? What else can objectivity represent, a signifier created by subjects to name ‘reality’ which exists outside their own subjectivity, if not a subjective perspective of objectivity? Why are the rules that we were given the rules and the certainties certain? Reality is not reality but a combination of signified according to Saussure[3]. Lacan question Saussure’s theory of language, the signified is not the things in their raw state, already there, given in an order open to meaning[4], in fact we are born inside language and we are formed through it. We have to find our place inside language in order to exist in society, language is not something external[5]. Who is wrong and who is right? I have to read more, to understand what people living in 2019 believe, to believe it myself. And the more I think like they think, the more I feel I understand the world I’m living in, the more I feel I am an intellectual, a master of my time. Millions of theories around us, saying similar things in different ways. The differences are so minimum that I’d never really be in the position to examine all of them and form a solid opinion. I hate knowledge.

 

I take a break, I take unofficial breaks every ten minutes, never official ones, I am back with food, it is always food that distracts me, and I read what I’ve just written. Look at you, I say to myself, look how easily you are becoming like them. What do they have to say now, now that you are writing like them, like an educated grown-up. I can’t wait to see their faces when they’ll finally realise my intelligence and submit to my superiority, and that’s my reason for starting projects, for doing things, I haven’t found a reason to end them yet though, I’m not convinced they deserve such an effort, I’m not sure there’s a place for me, but I still go to bed happy in my unhappiness and I spent three happy and fulfilling hours daydreaming about my future success.

 

 

 

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14/10/2019

 

I found the gap!

 


 

I wake up, I check my Instagram, I pop into this post of the event I’m going tonight, it’s a cool event, Lesbienalle, it’s about lesbians but not exactly(?):

 

To say lesbian is not to say binary or woman or pussy…as a salve for those of us who have felt – not lesbian enough – and because it doesn’t actually matters does it. Sometimes it feels nice to be a lesbian, to have a home for a while, to honor the feeling that perhaps inherent in that word is something that explains the way you’re moving in that moment better than any of the other words currently available. Pansexual doesn’t always slap in the way you need it to.[6]

 

Traces of hope mixed with happiness can be seen in my face from miles away whilst I’m reading this. I found the gap! Stupid people, who says there is not another word available? If there is no word available, we’ll invent one. Language is ours, we are born in it according to Lacan, so it belongs to us, we are to do with it whatever we want, to subdue it. Scurgriness[7] is not only a word that I invented for a stupid project, it is much more. Two happy days in a row. Can it be? Another night I’m going to bed convinced of my big offer to society.

 

 

 

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15/10/2019

 

I’m God.

 

 

 

This time I wake up in a different mood though, I am not persuaded, my need to find a hole bespeaks the fictional invention of it. There are no holes, people are doing well without me, whilst the truth is I am trapped in my own kingdom. Today Scurgriness seems a fraud, a lie, a childish game. I brush my teeth and I think of Naruto: A Manga protagonist, an orphan, a rejected child that becomes ‘someone’ when his village gets in danger.[8] He becomes the village hero since he takes it as his duty to protect his home, a home in which he had no place before. And what if there were no enemies and the village was safe? Wasn’t it him, the person who most of all was fighting with all his will against the enemies, also the one who loved and needed the enemies the most?

 

And the best at murder are those who preach against it.

And the best at hate are those who preach love.

And the best at war – finally – are those who preach peace.[9]

sais Bukowski.

 

For such a task we can find no promise in altruistic

feeling, we who lay bare the aggressiveness that

underlies the activities of the philanthropist, the

idealist, the pedagogue, and even the reformer.[10]

sais Lacan.

 

But Lacan, plus Bukowski, continued filling the world with their nonsense until they died. Whilst I stop. What would Naruto be if the enemies hadn’t appeared, if they hadn’t open that hole in his perfectly complete village? Through Naruto I understand better Lacan’s concept of the lack of the mother. Does this make me clever or stupid?

 

Genius of course, I say to myself, and I notice my browser is full, I try to close some tabs I no longer need and I find another essay, again Schreber in the forefront. [11] Look at this Schreber, how he made it, overvalued himself’ they say, but look at this bastard, at the heart of every research. I am reading a part of it and as I do it is becoming more and more clear that the place I’m seeking for is closer to his side rather than that of the researcher. For once more I am about to offer the place to myself, myself. I am becoming the subject that will offer myself the place of the object. I’m the Other and the Other’s Other. I’m God.

 

Am I mad?

 

Nah… just an idiot.

 

 

 

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19/11/2019

 

You ruined me.

 

 

 

Scurgriness, scurgriness, scurgriness[12]. Trying to establish a place for people that don’t belong, or let’s be honest, a place for myself. How to support my place without historicizing it, how to contextualise it in a world that I can’t contextualise myself? I have to fill the gaps, to make up for the time I’ve lost, and I’m falling into this manic state again and I can’t sleep and my mind pours out of my head and I can’t put it back, so much knowledge, so many people analysing life as we are supposed to live forever, as they are such important matters, as we will not all die anyway, oh God I won’t sleep tonight either, I switch on the lights and I read this research on Derrida thing that I found quoted in this Lacan thing that I found quoted in this old research paper of hers until I pop into this:

 

Augustine, like Derrida, was in his day an inventor of words, of neologisms. [13]

 

So Augustine and Derrida have already invented about one million neologisms, words to cover gaps –nice! I am again proven to be late, someone else got there before me, there is no contribution to make, only to follow my story that repeats other’s stories and I am late, so late. I am reading this Derrida thing and in between every line I swallow, there meanders a new question; Am I again idealising one way in favor of all the others? There lies a growing anticipation as I read, for the lines that I’m gonna write myself in the future, the lines that will give me the acknowledgement that art hasn’t given me so far. So it’s the same story again, I found another way to manifest my brilliance. Those people are educated, I say to myself, they are serious like me. Yes, yes those will understand. Art seems boring now, dry and stupid, a game in between lazy idiots, I might be an idiot but not a lazy one, no.

 

And I read their essays and I see my ideas written in beautiful words I don’t understand, and I like that, that means I am not an idiot, I am just a terrible language user, oh what a pleasure to realise I can just steal their explicit intellectual language, or shall I say, embrace, yes embrace seems more elegant, proper, I’ll embrace their language that I can’t speak myself, and the more I read, the more I want to read and to know more more more and to feel the king of the world and to ruin the very little humane and fragile thing that is left to me, oh yes ruin it, ruin it all, I don’t want it, get away from me disgusting weakness, I am to become complete, a master, a lord who will be able to shout: I WAS RIGHT. And then I’ll have lost everything I was fighting for, I will get lost in my own battle, I’ll become what I am fighting against, but who cares, who cares really, what a pleasure to become one of them, for then to be able to say as an equal to an equal: Look what you’ve done, disgusting losers, disgusting parrots, idiots, corpses: You ruined me.

 

 

 

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21/11/2019

 

 

Rough and Pure

 

 

 

Ops. I will actually remain rough and pure like before as they didn’t even invite me for an interview. Seems like my Wikipedia-based research didn’t persuade them. Idiots. How many rejections am I supposed to swallow before I completely lose it? Was it a kick in the stomach? Nah - Just a small contribution to the already well established veil of misery that covers my existence for some years now. Whatever. At least if I don’t manage to define Scurgriness, I will definitely define Failure. Better than nothing, no?

 

A bit of happiness fore comes disappointment, I don’t have much of a choice of course, a bit of happiness or a bit of madness, so thank God I manage to do happiness, and this time I tell myself, It is better this way you know, you were again ready to depart to another world to which you’d be a stranger as well. Maybe this time you stay. And I wonder why do I always have to leave and the others always stay, how does one fit in and if not, how does one decide the context in which they will demand a place, how do they know that this is where they should belong, why is it art and not academia, why music and not painting, why fashion and not writing? Where are the limits and why are they the limits, why do not I belong?

 

 

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1/12/2019

 

Not One.

 

 

Uncontextualised and unable to sleep, I watch this documentary that includes some scenes of Theatre of Cruelty and it wakes up again and it takes over me and I think Oh Lord, anyone could do Scurgriness Lecture Series better than me in the way I did it so far, but who could do it the opposite way round?

 

Who could teach, not from the position of authority, but from the position of weakness? And I do my first experiment and it goes well, so well, people are persuaded I am not performing, and it gets hungry again, it can’t wait to get outside, to be seen, it gets impatient, excited, so excited, this is it, I found my role, my place, and the more I’ll let it be, the more it will let me go, what an idea, what an ecstasy, and next week I do it again but this time people get angry, they leave the room, they accuse me, I used something that I am not to manipulate their feelings. Did I? I don’t know, I don’t know if I am the monster or the baby, the wolf or the sheep, I don’t know if I am unbeatable or meant to be a loser, I don’t know if I am mad or sane, a woman or a man, queer, bi, gay, straight, a feminist, an artist, a philosopher, an inventor, a writer, a director, I don’t know I don’t know, I am nothing, I am no one, I am Not One.









Notes:


[1] Andrew Ryder, Inner Experience is Not Psychosis: Bataille’s Ethics and Lacanian Subjectivity, (2010: Parrhesia Journal vol:9) p. 94 - 108

[2]I demonstrate there that it is the certainty anticipated by the subject in the “time for understanding” which – through the haste that precipitates the “moment of concluding” – determines the other’s decision that makes the subject’s own movement an error or truth.” Jacques Lacan, Ecrits Translated by Bruce Fink (New York: Norton, 1996) p. 287

[3]Meaning depends on its relation to other words within the system.”Daniel Chandler, Semiotics: The Basics (New York: Routledge, 2017) p. 18

[4] Jacques Lacan, The Seminar of Jacques Lacan. Book III - the psychoses (New York: Norton, 1997) p.114

[5] Jacques Lacan, Ecrits Translated by Bruce Fink (New York: Norton, 1996) p. 319-322

[6] Aisha Mirza at www.instagram.com/p/B3aMzA9BUmc/?igshid=1j3qveripi1k2

[7]Scurgriness(n) / Scurgry(adj) was invented at the Royal College of Art degree show 2019, for the title of my graduation video Mum I’m Scurgry. (see proposal)

SCURGRY(adj) translation: Origin: Scurgriness(n) / Scurgry(adj) derives from the words scared and hungry. It is also claimed that scurgry used to be a penis enlargement product. Definition: No official definition has been found. It is believed that several attempts to define scurgriness have been made throughout human history, outside the norms of language. Previous attempts include: Manifestations of scurgriness on the body, in nightmares, dreams, hallucinations, fantasy, phobias, irrational behaviors, manias etc. Special Characteristics: Throughout the passing of the years, scurgriness re-invents itself and the individual is called to give their own definition to it. Culture and Civilization: In some cultures it is believed that scurgriness traps the individual in repetitive uncanny behaviors that dominate their relationship to the internal and external world. Sources: Unknown.

[8] //en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naruto

[9] Charles Bukowski, The Genious of the Crowd (New York: 7 Flowers Press, 1966)

[10] Jacques Lacan, Ecrits: A Selection (United States: W. W. Norton & Company, 2002) p. 9

[11]“I refer to Dr. jur. Daniel Paul Schreber, formerly Senatsprisident in Dresden, whose book, Memoirs of a Nerve Patient, was published in 1903, and, if I am rightly informed, aroused considerable interest among psychiatrists.” Sigmund Freud, Notes on a Case of Paranoia translated by the Institute of Psychoanalysis and Angela Richards (London: Hogarth Press, 1958) p.10 

[12] //elenitomadaki.com/work/perfomance/scurginess-lecture-series

[13] Andrew Clark, The Death of The Other: Paradoxes of subjectivity in Derrida’s Autobiographical thought (UK: University of Portsmouth, 2011)







On my way home, unpublished text, Eleni Tomadaki, 2019