Quotes on Collecting Evidence
As announced on the invitation:
Twirling as a modern derwisj through an evocative labyrinth of questions, sparked by an infinite passion to find a new visual retoric, engaged in social mysticism, finding unexpected narratives and hidden faces, sweeping the playgrounds of universal tales, mixing them with personal confessions, ritualizing the world as an artful arena.
During the opening Emily delivered a speech about her method and how the love for an object can be related to the condition humaine:
If a fire starts in my house the first ‘thing’ I want to save is my dog. The second one: my violoncello, due to his financial and emotional value. What follows as lucky number three, is a tough one. Is it my lap top? Full of ideas and stuffed with images. A box with love letters, a photo album from my childhood? And what about my boy friend, when he is upstairs, sleeping?
I picture the fire. Immediately time freezes the image and stiffens the flames. Why? Because I will tell you about the day when my house burned down. Past tense coagulates imaginary into reality. Well, here’s the story then. I cycled in the street. To my horror flames escaped from the window of my house. I threw my bicycle against the gable, kicked the door in, and ran up the staircase. The dog already ran towards me, I spread my arms…
It sounds good but the truth is a different story. Once I am in the house the first obstacle I run into is the front door, it is locked. My hands are shaking, I am so nervous I can’t find the key. So I have to kick this door in as well. Of course I manage, the adrenalin gives me superpower. I am inside. And there’s the dog. Trembling in a corner. Assuming she is still alive.
Now, in retrospect of the fictitious event told in the future tense, I question myself if I would be vigorous enough at such a moment? The answer is naturally: Yes. But the first proper thing to do would have been to ring the emergency number. A pragmatic operation which speaks less to imagination then the tale, fiction molded around, in this case, an invented fact.
Egle Obskarcaite, philosopher, performer, member of the critical art collective Legwork and writer introduced the catalogue:
And now we talk about evidence here. When asked how the title for the show was created Emily told me it came across when she was talking with her gallerist about the wide range of disciplines she covers plus the drive to deliver her stories: “For me the evidence is the range of visual and emotional data I find and recreate of other people’s lives”.
She is right, evidence symbolizes a strong claim that we all have for truth. To find traces of unconditional truth in what surrounds us. Since we cannot trust our perception or senses, we need ‘real’ evidence of that. Evidence, however, is trusted this function because of its quality to capture, to force an impression to stay, to get inscribed. It objectifies and empowers. In addition, the very act of collecting might become a compulsive act, an addiction that one cannot escape.
The evidence Emily finds, collects and presents, puts us into the specific approach towards those traces of the worlds around us. Her evidence does not pretend to be ‘real’. It is genuinely open to whatever the perception or imagination of a spectator might want to tease it into and in whatever direction the creative mind of the artist would want to bring it.
“I work slowly. I collect the evidence of the lives of others. Whether it is the life of humans, animals or things. And when a piece misfits or is missing, then I invent something that is correct”. This moment of Emily’s work is quite characteristic. It comes with strategies of inventing, displacing and, as the result of these actions, with being merged into the realm of her individual history. This manifests itself through the vigorous action of what she herself calls switching identities. In her projects of facing, approaching, and portraying people Emily talks about her dancing around identities. She might take elements of their characters, she might put them into herself, and that is how the switch of identities comes about. The main force of it is emancipation, as it is being brought to the realm in which whatever being or simulation is possible and legitimate.