Today marks one year since I defended my PhD dissertation in art history. This week, I've been writing a text titled "Can the art historian feel the present moment?" While I still need to finish this text, the question is valid here, too.
Today, I did an artwork that is a transposition "between me and myself." Is that something someone would write in English? It sounds silly, but that's how it went. I transposed some "other" Debora into myself today, so I'll become one and only. No more splitting myself into thinking who I once was and who I should be. I'm determined to feel myself in the present moment, without narratives.
I did a painting while writing my PhD. I used this painting to understand Antonio Dias e and connect with some influential people in my trajectory as an art historian. I asked them to talk with me about this painting titled "You Are Here." I was dealing with time, reality, and how to react to others. The conversations became one chapter in the dissertation, which I made available here.
This painting has been hanging on the corridor in my apartment—where no one ever "was" per se, as we were always passing by.
As I've been dealing with the conclusion of this one year after finishing such a determining phase of my life — it took me ten years to go through my PhD program — I decided to burn this painting.
Fire and destruction have been in my mind as I follow Palestine's nakba. I needed to look at fire and let my heart melt into it. But this painting also had this fundamental fire in itself, a burning middle that, after destruction, can create something else.
I felt today the liberation of this past year, and I encountered today, finally, the word that describes the shape I've been using, which this painting also carried: the monad — a Pythagorean definition for the first metaphysical being, the Absolute.
As I search to be absolute in myself, as I learn to feel the present moment and unlearn to be an art historian — or continue to become a different art historian as I'm too invested in it to give up the title — I'm happy to notice that in the present moment, all the answers arrive together and at the perfect time.