Jeff Bark presents two pieces ( a couple, if you will ) each focusing in tight on the pubic region of a couple, one male and one female. The legs trail off in a severed contraposto from the lower torso of the figures seated at the edge of a table, the hands of the partner reach in and hold onto the hand of the figure who is centrally positioned. The other hand connected to the central figure compliments and balances the overall composition and yet it forms an opposing dialogue to the hands which reach in to hold on. The woman’s left hand is turned in with a slight cupping position. It dangles, if you will with apathy or fatigue. It wants to give up. The male’s hand turns outward in what could be perceived as either asking or giving … but as I see this as a mutual dialogue between the two pieces, it is hard for me not to read into his seeking to pull away and the hand moving towards getting up and leaving. We are drawn around the intimate spaces of the pubic area a flutter with hands, arms and legs which move our view around the central space where arguably our most intimate acts are carried out. The chiaroscuro lighting influences an emotional mindset while the “still life” presentation allow us a space to dwell and look intensely at a very cropped domestic narrative of the “give and take” and the “push and pull” interactions that go on daily within a relationship that is about to divide.
Even when we leave or are left, do we ever really let go?
Once you have made a bond … a connection … can you truly sever it?
I am not sure.
I think our energies and DNA get wrapped up in each other. We log our shared experiences in the synapses of our brain and they forever pull us back to time and place and space and sadness and joy and pleasure and pain that exist there to remind us that we were once a one-summed duo even if we have been separated for many years. The spirit/soul connects us intimately more strongly than we understand … that is, if you truly give/share yourself with your partner and accept them for all who they are as well as yourself.
But even in extremely intimate and loving relationships, we still seek to carve ourselves some space for us to withdraw into a place of shelter, to protect us even from our love, and to provide a place for our secret thoughts to dwell and our private selves to thrive.
It is only when we pry it open, expose the private dwelling and offer to share that which we protect when we can truly break boundaries of intimacy and reach new plateau’s of awareness for authentic living and loving.
Once someone chooses to let go and release their grip, and stop holding on (for whatever reason), the unwinding starts … an unravelling if you will. It starts off slow, with small intimacies … and then eventually its carves a larger space of loneliness to the point where it become an insurmountable barrier, a physical force that impedes one’s ability to re-connect and bridge the distancing gaps.
These barriers stem from the feeling of being abandoned.
We quit holding hands, pull away, stop spooning, turn to our side, tune out, turn to other interests, stop sitting by each other, stop cuddling, stop listening, stop caring, we release, we let go, we look for other intimacies to fill the void. And we feel lonely after having done so. But filling the void is an impossibility. Someone else can’t. They may be able to fill part of that hole, but there will be other gaps that they can’t fill … and other cracks that they can’t mend. Only we ourselves can make us whole along with divine assistance and help from a universe that is so in-tune to our needs despite our lacking the perception and understanding.
What makes one want to create a relationship, and then move away from it, escape, and then desire to come back to what feels comfortable, to return to the familiar, and yet still withdraw inside?
Can we come back once that separation has occurred, can we ever trust again?