Freedom As A Personal Space

Christine Alfery

Posted on October 02 2022

Freedom As A Personal Space

Featured image: Kaleidoscope of Raw Reality

Space, how do you think of the word space? I was asked this question in a graduate seminar. My immediate answer was the one I had been taught through the elements and principles of art – there is positive and negative space.

Forms take up space and create positive and negative spaces. Of course, that wasn’t the correct answer according to the person who asked the question. This simple question has made me think about space and how we think about it. My dominant conception of space is the one I have learned through the arts. But, the other space the questioner was thinking of was discursive space. I know, I know…….big idea, it got my mind going and it was questions like this one that have become part of my history and my foundation of conceptual art, and being a wordy. I question all words and their meaning. But let me give you an example.

Let’s consider the concept of freedom – and space. The freedom of those who reside in the middle is so completely different from my personal “freedom” space. My work, "La De Da,”  is an excellent example of the Middle Space. There are many elements of those who live in the middle and how they get along while they allow others their personal space. There is only one element for me and my personal space and freedom. For me, I visualize standing on the shores of Lake Superior as I look off to the horizon and see a calm day. I see how the water meets the sky and it is difficult to differentiate where one ends and the other begins. This space is vast – open. The same happens to me when I sit in a canoe, quietly, listening to the silence alone. A work of mine that wonderfully illustrates this idea is “Kaleidoscope of Raw Reality.”

Both of these are my personal yes, yes, yes space of freedom.

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