This evening we began our exploration of different types of boundaries which we have encountered/enjoyed/struggled with. Each of us brought an example or a story of a boundary.
Steve brought milkweed seed pods — which he collects every year…for him…it is not just the beauty of the seed pods…but the juxtaposition of bringing something from the outdoors…subtending the boundaries to the indoors.
Sabrina described her history with choosing to wear a headscarf…and that sometimes, for her, this provides a way of protecting herself when she is feeling vulnerable.
Suzanne brought this Native American photo from National Geographic. Photographers, she described, are really outsiders, but try to be insiders.
I have been fascinated for a long while with the work of Anselm Kiefer. This piece, The Breaking of the Vessels (1990, St. Louis Art Museum) is my first love of his work. Here the vessels holding Divine Light have been crushed by surrounding ancient tomes, and in breaking, the inside and the outside have mingled.
Isabel described metaphorical boundaries — those that exist in our own minds…and how difficult it is to fight boundaries within ourselves.
Rena described their experience with wearing a kippah — and their decision to begin wearing one on November 8, 2016 (election day). The gender suggestion of a kippah may seem obvious, it is clearly a “masculine object”. In choosing to identify as “other”, one also subtends many boundaries. In a secular context, Rena explained, the kippah separates them; it carries great weight — both with Jews and with others who wear different types of head coverings. In taking the name “Yehuda” — a masculine Hebrew name, one jumps from inside to outside and to inside again in so many ways.
Lucy has been exploring opportunities to take action, also since November 8th. She has realized that language is a boundary when working with different communities….communties of color, differing demographics, etc. She has been thinking about how many negative words are used to describe different communities — and how language barriers can be presented visually….how communication and relationship can be affected in our conscious use of positive versus negative language….
Pam brought in an armband which she wore a few decades ago…in a strike for peace and freedom. Again, boundaries subtended, inside and outside and inside again…
Hagit is a poet. She has translated her work from the Hebrew and she had brought two poems to share with us. She described that inside/outside — another layer to explore — is being an outsider to the English language. She read from her fourth book in Hebrew…and then in English. The works: “I drew a circle” and “Like a baby“…
Of course, in scripture, an obvious Inside/Outside reference in our history/story…tells of Adam and Eve.
So many different representations in art of their exile…from when they were in Gan Eden…to when they were not. Some of the following images are different iterations of Adam and Eve…