- Viktorija Domarkaite
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Viktorija Domarkaite presents Ritual, her final work of Masterclass, culminating in a neckpiece, a performance and a video. This project raises questions of loosing mental strenght and its importance for human personality.
Jewellery and Blacksmithing, Estonian Academy of Arts, Estonia.
Supervisor: Gemma Draper
It was a beggining of Master studies, when Jewellery and Blacksmithing department asked Gemma Draper to give us few weeks masterclass for which she chose Ritual as a main theme. For two weeks we have been trying to understand what ritual is to us individually by having numerous private and group talks that were filled with discussions and personal experiences. During these discussions my personal fair of losing inner strength was pointed out. A great accuracy and other people opposing views to it, got me interested in experimenting with concept of strenght and its boundaries...
For years, mental strength was a character trait by which I distinguished myself. With it however came a complementing dreadful idea - in a means of letting someone close, I will become weak and fragile. My personal ritual on keeping people in a distance and doing everything by myself had to be forgotten in order to see where this project could go.
Questions as : If strength is who I am, who will I be when it is not there anymore? , How far can I go if I keep my strength but change everything else about me?, At what point will my personality disappear? were soon to be answered. I found myself becoming another person, a new character - Ann. I changed my style, things I ate, decisions I made, became more open and time to time even asked for help. All of which made me vulnerable to others, but still as strong as before, still me.
By the end of this experiment, project concept was challenged again. I met someone for whom I have developed feelings. Opening up resulted in my strength gradually disappearing with every day. After some time, I could not recognize myself anymore, nor could others. Personality was lost along the way and strength was just a fogy memory.
At that moment, when I found myself absolutely weak and brittle, it seemed that even slight movement as breathing can crush me.
Would You gamble from inner strength you possess for a chance of deeper connection with someone and if so, are you really sure it is worth it?
This personal experience was so influential that I wanted not just to talk about it but give a possibility for audience to feel the fragility and temporality of precious pure connection moment, which was built in to a performance:
The lights were dimmed, seven girls walked in to the room full of people… From the second of stepping inside it now becomes one on one interaction.
She choose a person to connect with, which started as looking in to each other’s eyes for a minute. Very slowly and softly she took his hand, gently placing it on thin gypsum heart situated on her chest. She is looking at the eyes of whom she chose until there is a pure emotional openness - a connection between them - CRACK - she promptly crushed thin gyps heard, using viewers hand under her control.
With releasing, everyone could hear the sound of shattered pieces hitting the floor.
Weather coincidence or not it took similar time for these seven girls to feel a connection with whom they chose, strengthening the mental impact of vulnerability moment. Performance left involved participants, as well as part of spectators speechless, fussy, intrigued and even crying.
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