My heart returned to settle on your wrist.
–Boris Pasternak, The Dream
Cave painting is animation (the flicker of grease lamps shimmering on the many overlapping feet of animals still running), installation (the enveloping environment), layered spray-painting (chewed coal blown through the stencil of the fingers); modes of making compressed in that early moment, a system of signs from a void.
Even then, image-makers disappeared into the depths of cold dark caves in order to distill their message into something pertinent, private, and with the ability to represent and stand-in for something larger. Walking and sometimes crawling, they travelled for miles in order to communicate.
This is a type of communion with us, their progeny.
There is work that is internal. It feels like it is closed inside of itself.
It is aware of the outside world. It is not in isolation or unengaged or in the margins of the prevalent dialogue, but strongly conveys a particularity of vision.
It has been through the cooking processes: schools, galleries, museums. As a result, the vision of the artist became even more peculiar and a truer reflection of their way of seeing. It celebrates the strangeness of the inner world, the brewing of interior juices. These universes created function based on laws specific to them.
Looking at this work makes the mind go to the personal before the formal.
Caving is spending time under a warm blanket, duvet, or quilt in a small amount of space for hours until time cannot be gauged, and focus hovers. It is building a fort for bodies, a universe of comfort completely isolated from the outside. And it is exchange, exchange, exchange. It is a convergence that excludes all opportunities for distraction.
And if ever exiled, punctured, or interrupted, this is the place to be undone and revealed. This is where vulnerability resides. This is pre-language (because you hope not to rely on it), and post-language (because what to do with all that has been collected?). It is turning the inside out, and leaning it against that of the other, braiding what has been into something new.
It is permission to access and see what is sacred.
-written by Yevgeniya Baras (2013)