May I present you a conversation of two women in the Sahara.
K: I really saw that red body in the dark, it just disappeared in front of me! Right here! Then it was pitch dark again! It was so quiet, nothing was here!
J: But who was that? No one dresses in red here. I was here 5 minutes after you came. There was nothing red as you say. How do you know you saw it?
K: I knew because I experienced it, with my eyes! I am telling you that there was a gigantic red body, a female of some sort. How can you not see it, if you were here 5 minutes ago?? Do I seem like I’m not making sense to you?
J: What I am saying is that if I am here, at where you saw it, at almost at the same time, if it is so big, I would have seen it, but I did not. Just logically speaking. I think you have it wrong. It simply doesn’t exist… and you appear exhausted to me. Are you sure you weren’t spacing out this time?
K: You are again just judging me based on your ‘logic’, but this time I truly felt it’s presence. Not because my body is tired. My mind is very clear that the red person was here bouncing in front of me. I can feel my body reacting to it!
J: Well, are you paying attention? I told you the reasons, and I can’t relate to you at all. Now that we don’t get to see it, it doesn’t exist. So instead of insisting, I suggest that you go and rest.
As we have already noticed: to K there was, to J there was not.
K was the sole witness of “the red body” in the desert, when the body of the former athletic high-jumper Giota P was presented digitally in the open field momentarily. Does it matter if the red body only existed in K’s experience? Not until K started to share her memories with others, she realised that the red body is isolated in her subjective territory. Her experience did not extend to J at all. The moment K started sharing, J registered a judgement in her mind to make sense of K’s non-sense. J simply connected the dots that 1) she did not see anything at the same time and place, 2) therefore she rejected the existence of the red body (and K’s experience) as a subjective conclusion, 3) so K is in doubt and messed with her feelings (again). If the red body was ’there’, it might have taken on a life of its own in K’s mind. Now, may I raise a question with curiosity, what if the red body was never witnessed?
Video and text © Yarli Allison L, a Hong Kong-Canadian born, London-based artist whose work explores psychological and emotional conditions with a primary focus on distant states of displacement, disconnection, and detachment. Her multidisciplinary practice traverses sculpture, performance, video, installation, painting, and sound. In the working process, she relies heavily on physical strength and long durations of repetitive manipulation of materials as an attempt to re-live between states of dissociation and reality. These physical and psychological tensions are often represented in Yarli’s performances, where audiences are invited to interact with the artist and object(s). http://yarliallison.com