What if the mightiest word is love, love beyond marital, filial, national. Love that casts a widening pool of light. Love with no need to preempt grievance.
In today’s sharp sparkle, this winter air, anything can be made, any sentence begun.
On the brink, on the brim, on the cusp — praise song for walking forward in that light.
(Excerpt from Praise Song for the Day, A Poem for Barack Obama’s Presidential Inauguration)
Utterances of the Heart
“Utterances of the Heart” unfolds at the intersection of art, language, and love, and will feature words – sentences – about higher love, written in German and sculpturally interpreted and lighted like previous works by Wolfram Alderson. Each will serve as a flash – a semaphore – of love, broadcasting across time and space.
Äußerungen des Herzens
“Äußerungen des Herzens” entfaltet sich an der Schnittstelle von Kunst, Sprache und Liebe und wird Worte – Sätze – über höhere Liebe, geschrieben in deutscher Sprache und skulptural interpretiert und beleuchtet, wie frühere Arbeiten von Wolfram Alderson. Jeder wird als ein Blitz dienen – ein Semaphor – der Liebe, der über Zeit und Raum sendet.
The utterances of the heart–unlike those of the discriminating intellect–always relate to the whole. The heart-strings sing like an Aeolian harp only to the gentle breath of a premonitory mood, which does not drown the the song but listens. What the heart hears are the great things that span our whole lives, the experiences which we do nothing to arrange but which we ourselves suffer.
My own struggle to learn German, so far a disaster, inspired me… to listen and learn at a deeper level.
By embodying the language in my work, I will acquire new language skills. I think many who have struggled to learn German will relate, and, the German speakers might enjoy my fascination and struggle with acquiring their language.
Of course, the subject is love – universal love – the ultimate language. I will be looking for unique understandings of love in German culture and language, but also translating concepts of love from other languages, as German culture has assimilated the best from so many cultures and tribes.
In many ways, language, like love, sculpts the mind, so I’m sculpting the language in kind.
The language of love is no less difficult to acquire.
The subject of love is more important today than ever… in Germany, and everywhere on earth. The cancer of hate (and it’s companion – fascism) is spreading, and well organized. Love needs an army – one that is well organized and well versed. We need to take the conversation about love to a higher level.
As a child, I absolutely hated cursive writing class. We had little workbooks and we had to replicate an idealized style of hanwriting, on pages with lines already drawn for us. I even told my teacher that my dog ate my workbook. That didn’t fly very well. My little protest was that I would write in block letters. I love block letters because they relieve you of all the ups and downs and sideways. I was so disappointed when I learned that using block letters in electronic communication is considered to be shouting. When I build my three-dimensional letters now, I have so much fun constructing my letters and sentences in my own way, creating my own font as I go, and really getting to know each letter I create. Writing on flat paper? meh. Writing in giant three dimensional letters with lights inside? WOOHOO!
This project wouldn’t be possible without the help of my friends and family who are also capable of translating the “utterances” that will be featured in this exhibit. An interesting development with this project, “Utterances of the Heart,”, is something I was actually hoping for… that is that the Translators are already shaping the direction of the utterances.
Love isn’t static, or a snapshot or nice quote. It is a living being, a conversation, a form of intelligence. The Translators are an integral part of this project. Love sculpts the mind. Language sculpts the mind. Translators of love sculpt the language because this isn’t simply about translating – ultimately, this is about expressing love in its higher forms – so bring it on!
Thanks to Jennie Von Winter and her students, Andreas Kornstädt, and all my German family and friends for your generous and creative support in translating the sentences about love.
I’m just in the beginning phases of this project, but stayed tuned for posts about the work as this exhibit moves forward.
Angst – Lass mich gehen!
Liebe – halt mich fest!
Origin of the word “love.”
From Proto-Germanic lubo
(source also of Old High German liubi “joy,” German Liebe “love;” Old Norse, Old Frisian, Dutch lof; German Lob “praise;” Old Saxon liof, Old Frisian liaf, Dutch lief, Old High German liob, German lieb, Gothic liufs “dear, beloved”).
The Germanic words are from Proto-Indo-European (PIE) root *leubh- “to care, desire, love.”
Miniature mock up for WIR KOMMEN HIERHER UM ZU LIEBEN UND ZU LERNEN
The first piece I’m working on for the Utterances of the Heart show is Was das Herz hört. Four words. Fourteen letters – each about 12 inches high. Wood, gesso, Acrylic. LED lights and electrical wiring. Framed in box seven feet long by two and a half feet tall. The entire work is illuminated. Click here to view the work in progress!
The third piece in the “Utterances” series is
LIEBE IST IMMER EINE ENTSCHEIDUNG IN UNS
(Love is always a choice within us.)
Work in progress…Wood, gesso, Acrylic. LED lights and electrical wiring. The entire work is illuminated.
The experience of love is a choice we make, a mental decision to see love as the only real purpose and value in any situation. Until we make that choice, we keep striving for results that we think would make us happy. But we’ve all gotten things that we thought would make us happy, only to find that they didn’t. This external searching-looking to anything other than love to complete us and to be the source of our happiness—is the meaning of idolatry. Money, sex, power, or any other worldly satisfaction offers just temporary relief for minor existential pain.
We can go much deeper.
“When we understand that love is not just emotion, but intelligence, then we are on the evolutionary road. Love is an extremely advanced body of knowledge, but we put more time into learning how to drive a car (study for an exam, pass a test, demonstrate driving skills, etc.). The sum of real knowledge and real love are real existence. If it doesn’t come from love, it isn’t real. The heart is far more than a glorious pump, it is a wisdom engine, a source of actionable intelligence, a divine communication device.”
The Love Army Needs You!