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What is it for a human being to become attached? To love, to give, to care? To feel emotion from something — someone — outside of ourselves?

 

And have we in some ways become so selfish as to refuse to invest in anything other than self? Or have we become fearful to let these things go?

 

I have no concrete answer to give, only stories.

 

Greg is not quite complete in its finished and installed form; this piece also encompasses the long process of unraveling unwanted clothing and knitting the threads back into the finished sweater, as well as the emotions, desperation, and sensitivity that I felt toward it during that process. In some sense it is as much a self-portrait and self-reflection as it is a statement and a presence.

 

I ask myself what makes me so attached to Greg. It could be the quiet presence of the sweater itself, or a sort of personification. It could be the hours I spent, the tedious and repetitive yet careful actions of unraveling, tying, and knitting. Maybe it is the vulnerability, the fragility and tension of how the threads hold together, the uniqueness of the forms, the soft comfort that I relate to knit clothing. Perhaps it is the association I felt with a parent’s intimate care for a child, a glimpse of that special love, or rather the hope and love of a child that might wear this too-small mismatched sweater. Maybe it is the willingness to invest and the act of giving itself that precedes and overarches the mishmash of all these things.

 

Maybe this is still a bit selfish, imposed by imagination, demanding return.

 

But this process, beginning to end, undeniably makes me more aware of myself: both my capability to care and give, and my selfishness. And so perhaps it is the realization of these things that is the most important beginning.

Greg

2013

(One sock, one shirt, two sweaters, and clothes hanger)