See “On Liminality“
Women & Performance: a journal of feminist theory
Special Issue “Border Encounters, Performing Thresholds”, Guest Editors: Cynthia Citlallin Delgado Huitrón, Yarden Stern
Publication July 2023
In this series named On Liminality, I explore the feeling of liminal state. The photos depict time and space of liminality and in doing so echoes and explores the subjective process of being in a liminal physical space or mindset.
I photographed beach landscapes after the sun has set, when water and sand meet under a very noticeable light. The evidence of what water and sand are evaporates, as these elements demand to be viewed through another perspective. Instead of a mundane and pragmatic relationship with the world, in which the world appears to the extent of its utility, one is perceiving beyond their habit. The liminal mind mirrors these landscapes. There is something else beyond the sedimentation of memories that usually produce our experience of the present and our sense of self.
We are made up of a specific combination of air, water and earth, as well as a singular network of memories, emotions and desires. Both aspects are metastable. These photos exhibit how what is apparently stable is always on the verge of turning into something else. The evanescence of the dusk colors expresses the vivacity and uniqueness, of our emotional state that is nonetheless destined to perish. More precisely, it is less a matter of perishing than a matter of metamorphosis. One state gives rise to another: night to light, sadness to joy. And the threshold is barely recognizable. Dusk and dawn can be confused. We cannot locate precisely when the metamorphosis happens, even though things have become so different. Not because of a faulty mind, but because something more profound is at stake – something toward which these photos point.
The horizon embodies the liminality of space. Where does something begin or end? Does it depend solely on our perceptive “toolkit”? What does the horizon say about phenomena, their paradoxical boundaries and openness? In this series, I work with and towards the horizon. The horizon creates different types of space within the photograph: sometimes the horizontal line engenders perceptive spaces (by which I mean space that reproduces our daily, perceptual experience), while others, the horizontal line creates abstract and flat spaces of colors. A three- dimensional feeling, produced through the flat, physical surface of a photograph, seems to indicate the openness of space engendered by the horizon line, whereas the two-dimensional feeling would indicate its closure. Nevertheless, we need to be more nuanced. The juxtaposition of sea and sand in two-dimensional images paradoxically conveys a sense of depth through flatness: the density of the colors opens up the space from within. Meditating on the images invites us to ask: What are the horizon lines, the touchstones by which one orients their path? What kind of spaces do these horizon lines create? Where are the openness and the closure of them? Are they mobile?