at the moment I am, by force of will, denying myself certain foods and drinks as way of purifying my body and constructing the state of mind I require in order to present a performance art piece on 29th October. The process I am going through brings to mind a quote by Andre Malraux:
The greatest mystery is not that we have been flung at random between the profusion of matter and of the stars, but that within this prison we can draw from ourselves images powerful enough to deny our nothingness.
I am at the halfway stage of my self-imposed fast, having completed 3 weeks with 3 left to go. A lot of people seem to believe that the point of a fast is to starve oneself. That is most certainly not true because although it is about setting oneself physical constraints in way of testing oneself, it is more a mental exercise. This is the interesting thing about fasting, that it is a physical act that is utilized to transcend the physical. I have actually lost weight which is a physical by-product of the process, but it is not the intent at all. Rather I think of it as a physical manifestation of the de-cluttering of my mind by the exertion of my force of will to remain focused. This is the focus I will require when I step into the gallery space, and as I am able to shut out the physical during this fasting period so I will be able to shut all out once in that space. My intensity needs to be a real force that borders on lunacy.
While I have been fasting I have been keeping myself occupied not only with the normal demands of life or with my Masters requirements, but with the construction of my installation piece for my performance ritual. Like the fasting, the making has also become part of the performance.
Below: a work-in-progress
Below: my design sketches of the installation piece