Human beings are multifarious and moody – never purely one thing, never completely sure of things, always fluctuating, no matter what’s being said at one time or another. In the pulse of the absolute present, the world of what we know and experience, ‘everything that is the case’, remains mutable under the simultaneous pressures of all thought and activity. The clay stuff of what-is remains wet, in a perma-flux of reformation.
Such recognition is the fire that fixes the clay of tiny moments, complex instants of colliding moods and actions, into recorded time, the having-happened. And so in this way moments become monuments on the landscape of what-we-have-come-to-know-and-be: the landscape of our history. Isolated, named, these monuments are flocked to by pilgrims from the present seeking answers to the question of now.
There is always a reason, but never simply so. No action sits alone in the world but is surrounded by causes and reactions. Everything is reactive. Every instant is a universe. To pin-point feels like power. Pushing them away from the complexities of ourselves, we can turn definitive moments into the monsters of our time. It is much easier to point and say ‘that is the monster and that is when it arrived’ than try to explain, to unpick the make-up of the primordial soup of feelings and happenings in which a monstrosity was engendered. It is easier for there to be a monster than for there to be monstrosity: one can be boxed up, stuck with pins, framed, blamed and separated; the other must be swum through and breathed in. There are always reasons, but never one in isolation, never one that is complete. Every definitive moment is deeply involved, a knot of the present’s pressures, in which more might be complicit than will ever be comprehended. These moments erupt out of the surface of world as we know it, cracking it open and leaving us swarming in the gaps, around the fragments, trying with every change to conjure a glue for piecing some sort of whole world together again.
Abridged in 0-1979 explores those moments, big and small when our world shattered and changed and our attempts to make sense of it all. When there’s nothing here for me and you…
Abridged is supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland