"Is it not essential that there should be a constant renewal, a rebirth? If the present is burdened with the experience of yesterday there can be no renewal. Renewal is not the action of birth and death; it is beyond the opposites; only freedom from the accumulation of memory brings renewal, and there is no understanding save in the present.The mind can understand the present only if it does not compare, judge; the desire to alter or condemn the present without understanding it gives continuance to the past. Only in comprehending the reflection of the past in the mirror of the present, without distortion, is there renewal. If you have lived an experience fully, completely, have you not found that it leaves no traces behind? It is only the incomplete experiences that leave their mark, giving continuity to self-identified memory. We consider the present as a means to an end, so the present loses its immense significance. The present is the eternal. But how can a mind that is made up, put together, understand that which is not put together, which is beyond all value, the eternal?As each experience arises, live it out as fully and deeply as possible; think it out, feel it out extensively and profoundly; be aware of its pain and pleasure, of your judgments and identifications. Only when experience is completed is there a renewal. We must be capable of living the four seasons in a day; to be keenly aware, to experience, to understand and be free of the gatherings of each day."
Jiddhu Krishnamurti, The Book of Life
This series is the result of an accident. For whatever reason, I impulsively cut out a part I did not like of an ink painting I had just finished and tossed it aside on top of another painting, a part of which now appeared to me through the cut-out window.
I started moving the top painting around to frame different sections of the paintings below. Nothing really interesting emerged, and so I decided to try looking at other paintings in the same way. Some views were better than others, but still, nothing truly striking emerged, and so I kept enlarging and modifying the cut until I saw that the patterns in the "frame" painting occasionally interacted meaningfully (and beautifully) with those of the underlying painting.
After much trial and mostly-error, I decided to enlarge the cut-out one last time and in the shape of a head, and it was then that this notable series of 26 images began to emerge.
The whole process occurred in about two days of intense work and ended with a photography session during which the most interesting juxtapositions were "fixed." During this same period of time, Kim and I were actively exploring the burden of memorized experience, and just a few minutes before I started working on posting this body of work she shared with me the Krishnamurti quote above in which the possibility of a mind free of the dregs of time is so wisely presented.
The continuity of a personal existence is a fantasy; and this fantasy is the cause of the chronic division, conflict, and sorrow humanity has suffered since time immemorial. This series of paintings pose the unthinkable, but very real possibility of living life unencumbered by fixed and separate mental content.