Alone / No.88 / June, 2015
08.06.2015 - 06.07.2015

the flesh covers the bone

and they put a mind

in there and

sometimes a soul,

and the women break

vases against the walls

and the men drink too much

and nobody finds the one

(…)

the city dumps fill

the junkyards fill

the madhouses fill

the hospitals fill

the graveyards fill

nothing else fills. / Charles Bukowski, “Alone with Everybody”

“Here, in my solitude, I have the feeling that I contain too much humanity.” – Ingmar Bergman, “Images: My Life in Film”

It can be said that solitude is the human nature. We show up on Earth as an organic entity, a whole unit, and it is in the exact same way that we leave this world. During our lifetimes we realize we are the prisoners of our own subjectivity, and that we can fully know ourselves and ourselves only. Just as in a vicious cycle, the more time we spend in solitude, the more self-aware we become, which leads to a clearer and more profound idea of this both universal and singular state. Solitude – self-awareness – more solitude.   It can also be stated that art, be it literature, plastic arts, multimedia and so on, represent a ‘medicine’ for this inner scream. Moreover, once modernity started, this scream became more and more deafening. Who didn’t empathize with the characters of Salinger’s “The Catcher in the Rye”? Or thought he or she felt the same as the subject of Munch’s “The Scream” or young Dalí’s “Figure at a window”?

Paradoxically, artists create when in solitude, they benefit from it to give birth to artworks expressing the sadness of being lonely.   That is why solitude has two extremes. One at the Pole of serenity, peace, magic, with a mythical status of mindfulness and creativity, and the other at the Pole of burning melancholy, of attempts to get rid of it, surrounded by society, where he or she enacts his or her political animal instincts, but where the awareness of the inevitable boundaries between the self and the others. And the truth is every single one of us keeps this axis deeply rooted inside, between the extremes of which we learn how to migrate and when it is more appropriate to choose one over the other.

The protagonist in “Naked” directed by Mike Leigh asks another, at some point during the film: “It’s funny being inside, innit? ‘Cause when you are inside, you’re still actually outside, aren’t ya? And then you can say, when you’re outside, you’re inside, because you’re always inside your head.” Otherwise put… alone together.