You With Your Hand in My Hand Your Hand
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Maria Hardin is interested in the power of language to alter consciousness. Moving across various mediums, Maria brings language from the page, and screen, and into the physical world by creating spaces for encountering crip time, feminine wounding and mystical suspensions of ecological coexistence.
Plucked from her on-going sick artist’s novel, the trio of white neon signs You With Your Hand in My Hand Your Hand play with longing and memory as types of continuous time. The aesthetic choice of plastic and neon echoes the sterility of hospitals and attempts to imbue that sterility with poetry. Simultaneously futuristic and nostalgic, plastic, like a poem, can be a kind of time machine. “A slow rapture” refers to the biblical idea of the rapture but it carries a double meaning. Rapture can also mean a feeling of intense joy. What if sickness was a kind of rapture that was happening all around us?
Variation on a Theme, the scrolling LED sign, is a site-specific work created for Gothenburg Konsthall. The full text reads, “is the waiting room before eternity.” The green color was chosen to mimic the green of a Swedish exit sign. An auto fictive reference, the typeface is the same one used by Karolinska Hospital in Stockholm. The work was installed over the exit of the Konsthall, leaving the audience no choice but to leave the gallery and enter the waiting room of life.
Following in the lineage of the French philosopher Hélène Cixous’ écriture féminine, Maria has been developing an écriture malade, a sick writing. She has been using the artist’s novel as a vessel for this artistic research. Écriture féminine, is a term coined by Cixous that roughly translates as women’s writing. It is a mystic act and a moment of radical intimacy and porousness with the reader. In “Sick Story,” Maria explores her suspicion that by morphing écriture féminine into a sick style of writing, that leaks and plays with temporality, there is a potential to reimagine healing.