Emmy Horstkamp shares her thoughts about creating the “Will God Leave me Alone?” Installation
It is rare that I want to create artwork with someone else’s words. I enjoy writing stories and transforming them into art and I’m never at a loss for words but, for this installation, I decided to transform Diana Radovan’s words into a installation art piece.
My first step was to figure out how long to make the videos which will loop all day long at the subway station. I recorded the story six times and shared my favourite version with Diana Radovan. Diana made a few comments and a final version was created and used as the basis for the installation piece.
As with most of my artwork, the idea for the installation pivoted several times as it flowed into reality.
First, I thought about showing words on a screen so people could read the story but when I drafted the video, I didn’t like how it felt. I wanted them to feel this women not just read about her so I decided to tap into the hurtful words I’ve experienced in my life and focus on the father /daughter relationship in this story.
The woman in Diana’s On Death story did what she was obligated to do for her father – a man who threw hurtful words at her. After listening to Diana’s story over and over again, I felt like the narrator needed to take care of herself and release all those hurtful words blocking her path to the afterlife. She needed to let go but, how do I show you hurtful words being released?
To accomplish this, I wrote the 500 hurtful words and phrases on pages of a notebook and then tore out each page and burned it. I filmed the burning of the words and when all the words vanished, I took the ashes and filled the woman’s mask with it.
Not only is burning a cleansing ritual, the remaining ash can be used to cleanse so I filled the head full of ash to cleanse her mind of those hurtful words.
Next, I decided to focus on the point when the woman would die and went and shot footage of the forests surrounding my house. I used a chair to hold the video monitor because the chair represents her resting place and the view is up through the urn. The flashing light represents the afterlife.
The video and suitcase at the base of the chair represent things the daughter must release to end her journey – hurtful words and negative baggage.
To the left of the video screens are the remains of Daddy’s book of hurtful words and a the face/mask filled with the ashes of the burned words shown on the smaller video screen.
The words on the back wall are made with encaustic wax, ink and paper. There are a few more words but I wanted people to read Diana’s story so I left the phrase more ambiguous from a distance.
- I loved making the words from encaustic so I will continue doing this through the summer.
- On June 4, 2016, a third video will be created with Diana Radovan and Emmy Horstkamp and will be shared here on Munichartists.com the video will be masks for each person in the story.
- If you would like to see more installations/artwork by me, please visit Emmy Horstkamp.
- If you would like to read more stories by Diana, please visit her website.
- I will not be sharing the first two videos on the internet so I encourage you to go see the installation located at the Odeonsplatz Subway station.