A few things recently happened that were the culmination of a lifetime of pain. To begin to understand, accept, and... Read More
A few things recently happened that were the culmination of a lifetime of pain. To begin to understand, accept, and deal with everything—to move on with my life—I wrote a timeline of my entire existence. It contained my deepest Core (my soul, my Being, my consciousness, my unconsciousness, my me-ness). It was my deepest self, my deepest Me, full of my nethermost fears, anxieties, doubts, and insecurities. It was my soul laid bare. A new beginning. My childhood and adolescent years had long-lasting consequences on my perception of self. Yet, I never spoke about my childhood, not even with the people closest to me. I was embarrassed and ashamed. Instead, I expressed myself through art (as cliché as this sentence sounds). My art—chronicling billionaires, politicians, the porn industry, the invisible power structures behind photography etc.—is me detesting people who believe they have power. People who abuse other people for their own self-gratification. Beings who crave power and crush other beings to feel big. People who demand respect but do nothing to earn the respect they command. Men who feel the urge to make women and children feel vulnerable and small. This was my childhood. Yet, instead of facing it, I ran, I hid, I felt alone, frightened, rejected, and unloved. This project is an attempt to be me. It is me refusing to hide. It is a self-reflective metaphysical question that I couldn’t answer until recently—what does it feel like ‘to exist’? It is an attempt to yell at the top of my fucking lungs that I exist—that ‘I am’. Nonetheless, I never want to be defined by my perceived weakness—my abuse, my post-traumatic stress, my angst, and my depression. My childhood made me the person I am today, so I wouldn’t change the past, even if I could. I exist.
* The video is comprised of several hundred ‘I am’ statements sampled from BBC World News articles.
I Am 2018-2021 Single-channel high-definition digital video 2:49 minutes (looped), 16:9, colour, silent Edition of 5 +1 AP https://www.kailumgraves.com/i-am/