"Creating anything that endures is against the nature of our impermanent world, but still we try. It seems we are in possession of too little evidence to be sure of our existence. We create to recreate; to carry our past into our future. It is our testament to having been here. And to being.”


It was perhaps the artist who first burnt a hand while lifting fire to leave a mark on the wall that was not fame at the age of dawn, but rather memory. Thence arose objects and works of art, which documented the histories of families, clans, and villages that made up ancient societies. These works carried our past into our future, upheld our sense of being and identity. Timeless in themselves, mere materialization caused them to be bounded by time. Most have thus vanished and others continue to disappear. Some have been born away to distant places, others have crumbled. Creating anything that endures is against the nature of our impermanent world, but still we try. It seems we are in possession of too little evidence to be sure of our existence. We create to recreate; it is our testament to having been here. New artifacts too will not last long. Hence the choice here is to produce works of art that testify to impermanence. Prints and marks manifested by rusting the metal surfaces of hut-like objects are designed to be overtaken by the elements. It is pointless to tell you what I saw, for you will see differently upon your arrival after I have left. Furthermore, should we even stand side by side we would see differently, for what meets your eye could be forever hidden from mine. What seems obvious to my perception could easily escape your questioning mind. And there are multiple points of view a person can assume: witnessing from far or from near, observing from the perspective of any of four sides or perhaps from a corner, one space glimpsed through the opening of another, interiors/exteriors, details versus the expansive context of the surrounding nature. Within each form, strands and twists of jute and manila hemp emerge in varying formations, like hairpieces dyed different browns and styled in particular manners. Every entity represents a dwelling as well as the people that dwell, as if residents and abode have conspired to become seamlessly one. Meander around and in between them, glance into their inner spaces, take time to decipher manifold stories that the ever-changing impressions on their walls wish to tell. Longingly, I would choose any of these shelters to rest my aching limbs in, but now I realize there is no way to enter, there is no door. Therefore, my voice remains resounding at times with a message for you, an echo of my having passed through. All of us are on a journey with an uncertain outcome.The utmost that can be insisted upon is the present moment, the situation of now. And even in that there is no actual abiding. The moment of looking at the present is the time it becomes the past. This is why rememberers must always travel.


© Mwangi Hutter, 2018

MWANGI HUTTER

Travels of rememberers by Mwangi Hutter