History is our dream which we aren’t waking from, but are its traces to be found in us, in our objects, haunting our architecture, in spirit in slumber. From the era of Baroque, a time plagued with questions of Christian eschatology1 and its role in human history. A form emerged, “Trauerspiel” it can be translated to ‘play of mourning’. In Trauerspiel (a form of 17th century German theater) the actors would stand on stage depersonalized, a cipherlike human figure infected by the destruction of war (thirty years war 1618 to 1648). In decay they witnessed their own alienation to their past, a loss of sacredness of objects a result of Lutheranism2. those scars reveal secrets, fragments which crystalize the whole.
Epochs emerge out of a lack of reflection on their own, instead dreaming of the one to follow. in the Tempest, Prospero addresses not only the characters in the play but the audience too... “These our actors, As I foretold you, were all spirits, and are melted into air, into thin air. And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, the cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, the solemn temples, the great globe itself— Yea, all which it inherit—shall dissolve and, like this insubstantial pageant faded, leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff as dreams are made on, and our little life is rounded with sleep.” Uncertainty, impermanence, smallness and an inability to control ones existence in destiny - these are feelings which encircle this time. As if a whole generation was dissolving into dreams soon to be forgotten. Our goal should be to uncover the manifold immanence of the past in the present, and to awaken from the dream of the past. As put by Marx “the awakening of the world from the dream of itself”3.
But now we live in an empty world, to be depersonalized is to exist on the internet, to glare without end, to seek wholeness only to be atomized. There seems to be no way of visualizing outside of our own moment, no river brook to rest our heads together on in dreams. Nowhere to vanish into. The connections we’ve had are lost, and there’s been a birth of a revolting creature. it hides its face from clay eyes, obscured by a cold forest, where its leaves fester with memories of lost time. And if it came creeping out of its meadow, we wouldn’t recognize ourselves in this construction of thought. Those actors in their play saw in themselves what was past, this was their destruction, but if ones being is allowed to be completely forgotten and tossed into a mossy ditch then we can be left to live.
To let an object rest is beautiful, because a life of an object is painful and too long, they need solace. This is why Toystory 3 is evil and why the true freedom of an object is in allowing it to fade from memory… a long series of becomings and disappearances, that’s what we’re left with. A beating heart, four eyes interlocked, pale cool rivers, blindness caused by an angels absence. But spring forth to me I will call your name, we’ll be in resonance, the whispers from long ago never haunted me when I sought you.