Looking into one another’s eyes
By Vered Zaikovski | 06/05/2010
We speak without looking into one another's eyes. We have lived entire lives until now without exchanging a single word, and only now, when there is nowhere left to escape to, we are forced to break the silence. We are told that we knew better times, times of mutual respect, sharing and harmony. Their memory has become a rare, hidden treasure. Because, in the meanwhile, layers of earth, strata of disagreements and crime have covered the surface; disappointments have shaped our emotional environment, and monuments to the dead, our geographic one.
Collage: "De-Vision" , Vered Zaikovski
We-you have closed our hearts in order to conquer the unbearable, intolerable pain, and so as not to feel your-our pain, out of fear, lest our-your spirits are tortured with terrible guilt. However, the nature of pain is not to melt and disappear, but rather to attach itself and seethe unless it is treated and consciously channeled, just as energy does not dissipate, but is preserved or converted from one state of matter to another. The blocked pain becomes a drug that poisons our-your thoughts with rage, hatred, revenge, violence; blurs the vision, distorts the perceptions of the senses that enable us to distinguish between truth and illusion, and builds a colossal wall of fear. An autonomous mechanism whose role is to preserve itself, the purpose of the fear is to prevent further intensification of the pain; however, at the same time it serves as a wall of isolation to separate us from the existing pain as it feeds on it. The fear fixes you-us in an unapproachable place.
The blurring of the senses causes distortions in rational perception. Hurting the other for my own benefit, or even for the sake of justice, is never a moral act, but is rather one of a locked heart; like the perception of the values of morality as relative concepts: self-respect cannot exist without respect for others; is it logical to separate the redemption of one people from the redemption of another, a neighboring nation? After all, the fate of one nation is bound up with the fate of the other, the suffering of one is intertwined in the suffering of the other. From this, we can conclude that it is possible that the self-determination of one is dependent on the self-determination of the other. Moreover, placing the guilt on the other is evasion of responsibility for the existing situation, and does not represent any realistic attempt to change it. The responsibility for the litany of tragic occurrences in the world should be divided among us.
Everything is foreseen, and free will is given; however, how much strength do we need to carve channels in the walls of pain? How much courage, how much patience will we – and you – need to plumb the depths of truth, to dig through the shells of preaching and rage, to the truth that sees life as the supreme value, and that any harm caused is a crime, a truth that declares that as long as there is life, choice, opportunity and healing are possible.
Vera Zaikovski, “D-Vision,” From the group exhibition “Paura,” [fear], Artandgallery, Milan, 2005