I am inspired by a lot of spiritual teachers – Lama Ole, Eckhart Tolle, Pema Chodron, Osho, Allan Watts, Ram Dass, Deepak Chopra and more.
I like the idea of what Pema Chodron is saying: that we are taking life too seriously!!!! You probably wondering how it’s relate to the topic about Tower of Babel?
I must admit I like this myth. It visually represents how disconnection happened. Disconnection from what, you can ask?
From your being, from soul, from nature. Language is not a problem. If you willing to connect you will find a way. There are different languages. Even more powerful.
First of all I want to explain major cause of my sculpture idea to this project. In polish the word “język” means two things – language and tongue. We have one word to describe two things. At the beginning it causes some sort of delamination/stratification/. Word describes bodily thing on the one hand and abstraction on the other.
I am inspired by Yuval Noah Harari and his book "SAPIENS - A Brief History of Humankind". He writes about the human ability to create fiction in which we believe and through which conflicts arise. Internal and external.
This book is bold, wide-ranging and provocative, Sapiens challenges everything we thought we knew about being human: our thoughts, our actions, our power ... and our future.
In a very short words to bring a closer view on his theory - Dr Yuval Noah Harari spans the whole of human history, from the very first humans to walk the earth to the radical – and sometimes devastating – breakthroughs of the Cognitive, Agricultural and Scientific Revolutions. Drawing on insights from biology, anthropology, paleontology and economics, he explores how the currents of history have shaped our human societies, the animals and plants around us, and even our personalities. Have we become happier as history has unfolded? Can we ever free our behavior from the heritage of our ancestors? And what, if anything, can we do to influence the course of the centuries to come?
Through the various stories we create, we do not see reality as it really is. Everyone lives in their own world, in their own reality that they created. Those stories in which people believe creates an ego – ego creates boundaries.
Another author comes to my mind when it comes to an explanation our human history and our complicated "evolution", where for years we have been witnessing stupid deaths, murders, manipulations, exploitation's, even unnecessary depressions, suicides, and much, much more of stupidity. This author is Terence Mckenna. American ethnobotanist, mystic, psychonaut, lecturer, author, and an advocate for the responsible use of naturally occurring psychedelic plants.
He states that the reason of our separation from nature and ourselves is that people started farming agriculture. It started wars for food and place.
He states that people used to take hallucinogenic mushrooms. That is why they were more connected to nature, to spirits. Mushrooms diminished ego. Now ego is very big and the only thing we can do is to be on hay again… responsibly and without any districtions… probably. With our weak points we easily addicting to everything. I think a meditation could be enough.
While working on this project and discovering how to work with clay I produced some samples of little mouths with sticking out tongues and teeth. For fun I went with them to the woods and placed them in some places on the trees like a little mushroom. It looks like nature is talking to us but we don’t hear it. We don’t understand it. In native Indian culture in America if you want to use a plant for a healing purposes – before cutting a plant they were sending an intention and talking to the plant that they are grateful for its healing purposes. Without this ritual the plant won’t work. This is a power of intention.
Why head with tongues? We get a lot of conflicting information from outside. Formulas for life – It confuses a lot that we don’t know what to choose. This creates anxiety. One big tumult.
This sculpture in the end is a portrait of humanity over the decades and at the same time, because is anonymous it can be self-portrait.
Doing this work I was undergoing some kind of transformation during which subsequent curtains fell off. The more I know - the less I know.
During this time I become vegan. It was a strange journey. Not eating diary, eggs and meat - liver starts to cleanse and it releases toxins and old adrenaline to your system.
I found out from Anthony William book “Medical medium” that adrenaline keeps/ holds an emotional memory. So it went to my body and I could feel it in flashbacks of some old emotions from childhood and teenager-hood – like worry, anxiety, and fear. Primitive emotions – fight or flight.
I wanted to rid of those emotions. The open mouths in my sculpture are like realizing them outside. – realizing destructive emotions. In the same time open mouth is a door for a new things to come in. Breath in – breath out – breath in. Simply as that. Breathing out – letting go – breath in – appreciation. Empty head inside of the sculpture reminds openness, open mind. Open mind means no judgments. This is a story of some kind transaction or exchange of flowing thoughts.
Sometimes we have no influence on things that are happening around us - a silent scream of an open face that cannot speak is a very strong picture for me - it has a lot of meaning. Mouth language, that - they express.
While making this sculpture - I had a lot of time to think. It's like I was entering the unknown - where I could not find any words. This internal talk and chatter turned into silence. It is better not to say anything - better to show. So I left the original idea of writing something in tongues.
Our speech apparatuses are not only used for bodily functions to eat, chew and swallow - but also to express - and not necessarily by verbalization but by sign.
One of such signs and symbols is The Rolling Stones group logo. "The design concept for the Tongue was to represent the band's anti-authoritarian attitude, Mick's mouth and the obvious sexual connotations," said designer John Pasche. Also he said in some interviews that the design has stood the test of time because, “It’s universal statement, I mean sticking out your tongue at something is very ant-authority, a protest really… various generations have picked that up.”
Other kind of expressing opinions is compulsive and uncontrollable laughter. Is an expression of opinions on various matters that are happening around.
Alina Szopocznikow revealing a big human failure in her awkward objects.
I chose her art because it reflects on the stupidity of our race. Alina Szopocznikow said in an interview that she felt embarrassment that she belonged to the same race who invented concentration camps. I am glad that her art has been rediscovered and that she could be seen by many audiences at many international exhibitions like MOMA.
This is all the subject Tower of Babel - just - that symbol of defiance, which takes extreme forms.
Only to change I will remain faithful. We should not be but become everything. And until it's not in you - die and become. You are only a sad passer-by on dark land.”
I have a question? Have you ever had one of your games crushing ants with your finger or flooding their anthills with water as a child, while being in the yard, watching them desperately fight for survival and take their eggs? Yes? - I also ... But I realized very quickly that is cruel, I started to be against all this play. The play of the child who rip of fly wings is an act of unconsciousness that will wake up in some people over time. In some, maybe a minority ...But now as an adult who makes conscious decisions - I decided to listen to the inner voice not the outside noise – those fictions in our planet which we can actually name Babel.
The sculpture of the head covered by just mouths without eyes and ears represents a state of human mind – after a while of sculpting I realized I am doing some sort of a mutant. It relates very much to a movie which impressed me very much when I was teenager. Music was exceptional. The message is universal. The action took place on another planet GANDAHAR. It is a fantasy film from 1987 directed by Rene Laloux. Storyline involves mindless oppressors and time travelling. The paradise like planet Gandahar was suddenly attacked by a powerful, yet unknown force.
In my opinion this movie is a great analogy to our times. The big brain – lonely in the ocean / ego/ creates machines – humanoids- ferroids. They are destroying planet so he could survive. He is afraid of death, so he is killing other gandahars in order to survive. Not knowing its own nature, he could not see himself and separate from mind. How mind can separate from its own existence? It will die. Ego will die and it will do everything to not to. That is why it creates chaos.
Mutants in this movie are very spiritual but their bodies are ugly. Machines are perfect looking but soulless. They are just puppets. It reminds me of system. System is hiding soul-like beings underground because they don’t fit to their regime / rigor/ discipline.
The most important aspect of this movie for me and which relates to my sculpture is how a race of mutant beings who were accidentally created via genetic experimentation by Gandahar scientists – speak. They used just past and future tense. Avoiding present tense, because the present was too painful and not accepted. I was …I will be obeying to your commands. It is reflection on humans PAST – FUTURE mode. Constant past – future -past – future in their heads. Being trapped by history and possessed by future. Never really lived in present moment. Never be connected or communicate with reality as it is. Because they are masters of virtuality.
In this project, my motto continued - it was the tongue/language - the communication apparatus - to express feelings and emotions - sometimes in a silent way - expressing a gesture - the gesture was to stick out the tongue - in a protest.
In my conclusion I would tell that I like how people respond to my sculpture (title: “School of Foreign Language”- because we have to learn to communicate on different level using intuition and energy). There were reactions like a shock a little bit. There were opinions that it is disturbing, moving, scary, horrifying, sexy.
I want to continue and explore more of the world of clay. To work with it is very organic. It brings a primary need for doing something with your hands. Touching – connecting – or sending some kind of information. People looking for calmness, stillness, some peace from their worries or anxieties. Through art, and doing things by hands it relaxes the mind. Create a link to nature, people’s emotions. Letting go of old emotions by being present within the creative activity. Be free from past - future fiction and stories. Creating new pathways. Discussing the brain and how it works.