Life as a Project
The film ‘You’ shown with commentary by Danuta Wasserman at the EPA opening ceremony on 6 April 2013.
For some, life consists of one project after another. We finish one, then start two more, giving birth to ideas without ultimately claiming responsibility for any of them, or by delegating our own responsibility to team members to turn our ideas into reality.
We all go through different projects and stages in our life, including childhood, school, relationships, jobs, careers and so forth.
It can be comforting for us to see life as a series of projects, giving order to the ‘chaos’ that surrounds us. Self-management of our life through projects is something we all do, even if we do not realize it, or use that terminology.
Three Scandinavian artists, Lisa Östberg, Kim Hiorthoy and Clara Isaksson collaborated on this deceptively simple performance, set in a conceptual and minimalistic Scandinavian scene, challenging us to think about some of life’s biggest projects.
This portion of the full film is a selection of 3 of life’s projects taken from the original performance that we, the audience, are expected to execute in our imagination.
Partnerships and parenthood as projects
Giving priority to any one of life’s projects can result in the neglect of another – a dilemma well known to us all.The theme of partnerships and parenthood as projects, are some of the most difficult and yet rewarding projects we enounter. Our memories necessarily become blurred by emotions, time and protection ofthose involved.
An epic failure
The project about an epic failure is perhaps the most thought provoking. The artists force us to reflect on how it affects the quality of our life when we are overly busy, or distracted making more plans.
When facing failure, they tell us to keep important things on the table and to discard everything else. However getting rid of habits, thoughts and things that we ultimately classify as unimportant is difficult, emotional and time-consuming.As we discard that which is not ‘important’, we realize that life is, in fact, made up of many unimportant things.
What do we understand by the term failure? Is running from one airport to another a success or a failure?Is failure what happens when we give up living in the moment? Are daily events, encounters and trivialities actually what are important?
Without ‘everyday’ encounters with people, feelings, and objects, we are nothing. And, ultimately, nobody’s life is a failure.
The four seasons
The common metaphors connecting the four season’s music by Vivaldi used in this film are life and death. Each is distinct, yet important, inextricably linked.
We cannot stop the never ending cycle of the seasons in nature nor in human life, but we can try to choose which features to experience.The great French writer Albert Camus eloquently made the point: “In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lays an invincible summer.”
Perhaps the thought provoking projects we have seen in the film will provide us with a new perspective and help us to gain inspiration about how best to take responsibility for our own projects, as well as for those involved with them.