‘There is no coming to consciousness without pain. People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own soul. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.’

Carl G. Jung

I am sure that many of you can recall  a similar experience. You read a book, a poem or see movie and then, after few years,the way you see it becomes something quite opposite to what you thought of it before.

When that happens, you feel astonished, overwhelmed – not being able to believe your eyes and ears, like somehow you managed to open a heavy, iron door within you, that for decades seemed to be inaccessible.

Very often we don’t even realize that our perception of things changes over time. It’s all because of many different ‘influencers’ or ‘eye-openers’ that leave a mark on us. The way to ‘enlightenment’ could be anything – the stories you have heard, the artworks we’ve seen, past experiences and hundreds other things that the soul absorbs so that the emotional memory has been ‘loaded’ with content that is impossible to erase.

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Di Mu (Didier Mahieu), Ophelia, Exhibition ‘FACES’, Belgium, 2018

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Di Mu (Didier Mahieu), Ophelia, Exhibition ‘FACES’, Belgium, 2018

I remember when years ago, going trough my young years with a head up high being a teenager of a rebellious nature, wearing a lot of heavy, silver jewelry, black clothes and dark, gothic make-up, discovering ‘the hard rules of the game’,  whenever I heard the famous song of U2 on the radio, their legendary ‘With Or Without You’, I always thought it is a song about impossible love and problems within a relationship.

Today the same, old song by Bono that that I usually listen to in the version by a Belgian Choir Scala (you could listen to it by clicking here) – has got a totally different impact on me.

This happens because I have grown out of ‘the old way of seeing’,  the same way children grow out of too little jackets, pants or pullovers when the size of their body changes. This is a natural process and if it happens, I don’t think we should try to stop it. This way we are evolving, experiencing a sort metamorphosis, reaching a new level of maturity.

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Di Mu (Didier Mahieu), Exhibition ‘FACES’, Belgium, 2018

Today the same melody  that I  used to perceive as a romantic one – ‘creates different visions and mood’ on my mind. What I can hear in the U2 songs,  are strangly enough words on ‘depression’, about not being able to come to terms with oneself (I can’t live with our without you), about saying VETO towards life, about being at war with oneself.

‘My hands are tied
My body bruised, she’s got me with
Nothing to win and
Nothing left to lose’

 

There is a reason I wanted to share that observation with you. It isn’t only because I think that ‘depression’ is a very important subject that should finally leave ‘the margin of society’, the shameful shadow zone and come into the spotlight.

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Frans Gentlis, Exhibition ‘FACES’, Belgium, 2018

It is something that has to do with all of us in one way or another,  simply because we are all humans. Being a real human means not only sticking to the social norms and fulfilling the duties of a citizen, mother, father, sister, husband or wife but it means accepting the naked truth that we are we are fragile and vulnerable beings. The Reinessance quote  says ‘Homo sum; humani nihil a me alienum putohat’ (latin:’ I am human and nothing human is alien to me.’) and nowadays, more than ever,  we need to pay attention to the universal approach from centuries ago.

Let’s FACE it.  Depression isn’t a theme that should ever be swept under the carpet. It’s something that is dead serious. It’s omnipresent and appears at every age, every country regardless of the status, occupation, religion. It is  an illness ‘that feeds itselves’ – so without a proper help, without admitting that is there,  it grows strong like a parasite that kills the one who nurtures it. Without being sensitive and understanding towards is, without trying to ‘tame’ it it’s terminal like a dark tunnel with no way out.

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Michel Vaerwijck, Exhibition Faces, Belgium, 2018

Light

Exhibition ‘Faces’, Belgium, 2018

On 10 March, in Belgium, PAK (platform for actuele kunsten) and het Museum Dr Guislain and het Psychiatrisch Centrum Sint-Amandus  organize an exhibition called ‘FACES’ that is something that cannot be missed. The expo displays a hundred works of art by 26 artists from Netherlands, Belgium and other countries.

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Exhibition ‘Faces’, Belgium, 2018

Quite a few of the artist who participate in the show are my dear friends (among others Danielle Luinge, Michel Vaervijck, Di Mu (Didier Mahieu) and Danielle Van Zadelhoff)  – ** thank Michel for the invitation and letting me know about the collection.

What is this exceptional show about? Themes such as fear, pain, torment, alienation, isolation and fragility are central. The paintings, sculptures, photographs that are going to be displayed in different rooms of the Psychiatric Center tell ‘one story of life at the time’ leaving a lot of room for reflection.

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Exhibition ‘Faces’, Belgium, 2018

‘FACES’ allows the viewer to face own fears, to confront the dark side that all of us carry with us every day.  So there is a mental break-down that howls like a hungry wolf, other times it is not giving any sign, like asilent enemy that is hiding from the light, crawling underneath the skin of its victim.

I cannot emphasize enough the importance of this exhibition – and unlikely my previous posts,  I won’t say too much – leaving the room for your own reflections on the presented paintings. My only comment to ‘FACES’ is going to be an incredible poem by Dylan Thomas (1914-1953) recited by Sir Anthony Hopkins .

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 ‘Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night’

Do not go gentle into that good night. 
Old age should burn and rave at close of day. 
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right, 
Because their words had forked no lightning they 
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright 
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay, 
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight, 
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way, 
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight 
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay, 
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height, 
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray. 

 

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