Works / 365 ATTEMPTS TO MEDITATE 2011 / Dec

Dec 2011 by Cherine Fahd

Dec  2011


365 attempts to meditate began as a year long challenge to maintain a meditation practice. After ten years of failure, I thought I could finally succeed at this awareness exercise by aligning my commitment to art practice with my lack of commitment to meditation. In other words I could perhaps succeed in meditating if it became amalgamated with an artwork. The balloon was employed tactically to locate the breath and to bring a sculptural and performative component to the act. At the outset the project stipulated an instruction –“meditate everyday”. This instruction served a purpose. By repeating the demanding ritual of meditation, an artwork could slowly develop, day-by-day, month-by-month. A serial practice ensued for the full calendar year of 2011. All went well in the first few weeks as I really did meditate.  However it wasn’t long before genuine meditation ceased and questions concerning the artwork took precedence. There were also days when I didn’t ‘meditate’. The blank images speak for the failed days when there was no time to breathe and thus no time to make anything – no time to make art.  ­Stopping and disrupting whatever I was doing routinely a minute earlier, setting up the camera, picking a balloon, sitting in a chair, exhaling and inhaling constituted a performative intervention into my everyday life. This interruption of everyday life became a method not for meditating but rather for making something. In retrospect, the project should be titled 365 attempts to make art and not 365 attempts to meditate