vrijdag 3 mei 2019


Some time ago I saw a television program in which a young presenter tried to survive for ten days in the wilderness. This was a region where it was possible to survive, but he had to build a shelter, had to make fire and find water. The first days he was very busy doing all this and he also learned to catch fish. Then he established a routine and began to be bored very much.

What do people do with their spare time in the wilderness? To the camera he said: well I could weave a mat out of grass, but for what purpose? So, the last two days he went on to be bored and was very relieved when a helicopter came to take him to the world where you can turn on the television to kill some time.

Of course, these programs are not real survivals. When you have to stay months or years in such a place, you would make a better shelter, weapons to hunt or some clothing. But if the survivor, even for ten days, was an artist, she would know what to do with her time. Artists can always occupy themselves, because they have major interests which they pursue. They always think about the projects they are engaged in and/or fantasize about new ones. They are not bothered by the fact that their products are not useful; for them their works are very useful to survive in any world.

I asked myself what I would do if I was dropped in the wilderness. Well I would try to weave that mat to sleep on or make a basket to carry my fish or find some clay to make a vessel and bake it in the fire. But I would make these things also as beautiful as I could, even when nobody could see them. Because I am more an artisan than an artist, I like useful objects as much as artworks. I feel myself very close to prehistoric people who had to make literally everything in their environment, be it for use, for play or for worshipping. They always had something to do and so do I.

Katalin Herzog

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