There are, as it were, two different “I”s. One is profound, original, immersed in the free flowing durée, the other is purpose–oriented, efficient, and grounded in a quantifiable, rational world. The first is attuned to the different states of our consciousness, precipitated ‘as our ‘I’ lets itself be’ when we let our inner flow run without hindrance.
— Paraphrase of Martin Buber on Henri Bergson’s notion of intuition
This work is the result of a voyage observing the personal and intimate durée of various people, their internal durée.
The name of the project alludes to the Bergsonian durée, a concept describing the inner experience of time disconnected from the external notion of time and its demands. This sensation is familiar to us from moments of mental wandering, staring, daydreaming, and even boredom. It generates a broad spectrum of reactions: from fear, guilt and escape, through a longing, reminiscent of forbidden love, to full acceptance, containment, and cultivation.
We are living a fascinating period of cultural and behavioral revolution comparable to past revolutions brought by the advent of print, steam locomotion, secularization or urbanization. Like previous generations, we face changes for which we have not been prepared, undergoing a rapid process, too fast to put into words.
Pondering, leisure, wandering, boredom, idleness, and daydreaming have attracted Western culture’s attention for generations; at times perceived as a danger, a threat that one should eliminate, and at times valued and venerated. Popular Myths and scientific studies alike, associate the intellectual laxity involved in these states of being with moments of enlightenment, facilitating spontaneous insights and creative ideas – uplifting experiences of inspiration often referred to as ‘Eureka’ or ‘Aha moments’.
French philosopher Gaston Bachelard speaks of daydreaming in terms of ”Intimate Immensity” and space. Israeli poet Agi Mishol calls it “active slumber – liberated and objectless attention”, and notes that without it there is no creation, and Czech author Milan Kundera, describes the indolent as “gazing at God’s windows”.
Listening to the internal durée stories presented in the project make one ponder silence and emptiness, habit and conditioning, fear and a daring moment of realization and discovery – issues we all deal with daily. The work examines these questions from our “here and now” – the point of view of contemporary Western culture, at the beginning of the 21st century. It creates a space that is both physical and mental, that calls for reflection and invites one to be carried by these stories,
and allow the Bergsonian internal experience keep flowing unhindered.
This project is an invitation to break away from the tumult of events, to surrender – for a moment – to the internal durée, to stare into the void allowing one’s thoughts ramble, to listen to the narrating voices and to your selves.