Let’s dive deeper…
“As we walk the city streets, attentively, we make our way slowly. We let our eyes wander, absorbing the nooks and crannies of the urban landscape.
The atmosphere of the day, time and place, the vibe of a downtown, or a peaceful neighborhood, the density of industrial zones.
We notice the cyclical nature of decay and renewal as a part of the living organism we call the city.
Finally the eye lingers, catching sight of a particular detail, a wall or a texture that merits attention. We’ve found our spot: a canvas in the wild.”
We evolve and so is Mind the Heart! Project as we dive ever-deeper into the practice of the ‘artist as a wanderer’. The wanderer as a concept was introduced by Walter Benjamin, who made his ‘la flaneur’ an emblematic archetype of urban, modern experience. It was later developed by social scientist Michel de Certeau in his book The practice of everyday life. In Certeau’s investigations into the “arts of doing” he describes a form of daily resistance in the very way we utilize the city streets. Our seemingly mundane actions such as standing, talking and walking can be done in different ways and intentions. He makes a distinction between being a “citizen-creator” as oppose to being a “citizen-consumer”. In Kevin Lynch’s (contemporary urban planner) book The Image of the City, he coins the phrase ‘imageability’ as related to the pleasure and utility which city dwellers can extract from recognizing the patterns and meanings of their environment.
In this spirit, we wish to encourage and facilitate awareness and gratitude to life, in every single moment; for every mundane detail might be a source for beauty and inspiration, and a jumping board for momentarily transcendence. By doing so, it is striding in the footsteps of giants who walked, drove, and created art in the open, while outlining a conceptual, ideological and physical line. Artists such as Richard Long, whose repetitive walking in a field carved a line in a space, or Marina Abramovic and Ulay who drove a van across Europe, using the vehicle itself as a material for art making as well as a space for living. Inspired by them and by many others, Mind the Heart! is essentially a performative act – the art is in the act itself and in being well aware of the temporary yet eternal nature of it.
Materials and meaning:
We chose hearts, scars, birds and words as the symbolic couriers for this project. These symbols will outline the human connections created in this journey, as well as manifest the idea of hope, freedom, perseverance and togetherness.
We’re fascinated with many mediums and techniques, and have been creating pieces in many different contexts. Still, whether it’s a quick sketch on a wall or a meticulous-half-a-year-process to produce an installation, whether on a white clean background of a gallery or a noisy street corner, the issues, aesthetic language and perspectives are much the same. By utilizing the non-verbal power of communication that’s inherent in art, we can gently penetrate the external layer and generate a positive shift in perspectives. This project asks not only to reveal the highs of everyday life, but also its weaknesses, pain and anxieties, in order to find strength and heal.
In general, the works captures an idea that is at the core of every transformation: a progress through choice and action. They celebrate how life and inspiration can be found in the most unlikely of places (ask any weed that grows from a crack in the pavement). They deal with what it means to be human, and where this humanity of ours might be found? Through them we wish to point a light on the inevitable circle of existence – process, struggle, sustenance, comprehension and release – and embrace all of our feelings as our most authentic expressions.
And so, the iconic red yarn heart encompasses a human essence: our emotions, dreams, beliefs, hopes realized or vaporized, all that motivates or inhibits us. True, it isn’t perfect. It’s crooked, tangled, with dripping ends, but it is the heart we all have: battle-worn, experienced, beating with life. It dares us to open up, spreading a vibrant, red promise to put itself where it is needed.
The duct tape scars are healing the wounds of time. They create a metaphorical scar tissue, and though it will never go back to the “perfect cement skin” it was before, it’s a good step in the right direction – acknowledging the pain and trying to fix it. Also, the scar is a strong reminder that wounds can heal and become a bravery embalm.
The Black Birds encompass a duality: a tension between the pulling force of the ground and the endless promise of the open sky. It raises questions about identity, inhibitions and ambitions, but it does not stop before suggesting a possible solution. The birds and their ‘chains’ are made of the same, soft material. The very thing that composes them might also destroy them. That which can unravel them, also grants them wings. If they choose to fly high enough for long enough, the action will disentangle the thread and they’ll be free. And yet that liberation is derived from the very notion of a fixated state of being, that acts as the trigger for a change.
The technique of construction/deconstruction of words derives from our native language – Hebrew and originates to the book of Kabbalah; it goes with Hebrew so well since it’s not dependent upon vowels, which means that the building blocks can often be words by their own right. That shaving off a word, letter by letter, can sometimes reveal many worlds encapsulated in one. As the Kabalistic saying goes “Olam Bemila Nivra” (with a word a world is born). Another notion is that the building or breaking down of a word (adding or subtracting the next letter) is a conceptual act that aims to strengthen or weaken a particular idea, to bring something into or out of existence.