Yeah, I went to see her exhibition too. For me, the experience was really physical, although I rarely experience things heavily around the body. It was bodily, probably, too, because it was NOT verbal. So we didn’t really talk so much with Imogen, that is, about the show. The materials and the time, the whole world they lived in, it somehow opened up, and I could not do anything but be with her works.
The modesty that you write about describe the works well, at least initially. To me, modesty and humility are in fact the manifestation of extreme power. Imposing inevitability, the power behind force or expansion. Everything in nature is made by such a non-compelling force, it is movement without will.
I have the feeling that quite a few of us are currently really tired of this endless growth curve, which the fossil capitalist world order teaches us, and what we are actually born with. We are looking for some way out of this patriarchy, to move forward, but in practice the choice is quite difficult, just inside your own head. For example; from the point of view of a ‘career’, saying no, choosing modesty quickly begins to feel absurd and somehow self-destructive; we complain about the fact that large corporations are cutting down forests, but at the same time our own mill grinds lines to add to the CV overnight.
Probably because of that, Imogen’s craft hits something. In addition to all its power, there was something really small and invisible, but still very present, soft and approachable. The works felt that they had been given time, attention and love; they did not shout to be observed, nor to be ‘liked’ (in a social media context), but they still spoke, and that’s why it was possible to FEEL them. The more people listen to themselves and their own inner silence, the more sensitive levels within us open to listen to the objects and the void and “silence” around them. Those works were like an old grandmother who, gently and with endless patience, waits for me to stop being a box of fireworks. That grandma sees all the inevitability and knows that one day I can see it too, because she knows that there is no “someday” waiting out there in the future. See the peace in daily bustle. See within the modesty and smallness, the total holiness of one gesture and the present moment.
Time is a moment of depth, it isn’t taking us anywhere.
Translated from the original Finnish article, on the blog Art & Life;