David Stern Studio
At the Gates
The Threshold to the Unknown - Meditations about the Foreign.
I am and always was fascinated with closed doors of any kind, doorways and other gateways, and the question what lies beyond the threshold, good or bad?
There is that fear of the unknown in me, maybe to a certain extent in all of us. (a special form of irrational fear, the Germans call Angst)
And then there is the excitement of moving from one state or quality to another, not knowing whether it will be an up or downward move. In a sense, each day is such a threshold to the Unknown, that lies in front of us.
Yes, anticipation, mostly based on our past experience and our solidly wired egos and our routine, helps to overcome the fear, but at the same time does not allow us to fully experience and see what lays beyond the threshold even when we already crossed it.
And then, those, who already crossed the threshold, and stand on the other side of it, do they welcome us or are they trying to prevent us from entering. What are their motives? Do they have it All and are trying to shut us out, to keep more of it to themselves, or are they trying to warn us of the horrors laying ahead?
There are gatekeepers as well, who don’t need to cross, they already know what lays ahead and they protect either that, or us, who are trying to cross.
It is obvious that I am not just talking about physical barriers, the literal doors or gates and the bouncers or border patrol agents, who guard them,
but the metaphysical as well.
The physical reality derives from our metaphysical concepts of thresholds, the red line, the moment we live in, as opposed to the unknown future, the Stranger versus the Indigenous, the Individual opposite the Group, the US and THEM.
These concepts are as old as mankind and as much as we established some rules to address the conflict (the Bible talks more about this, than anything else), it is very much an unchangeable part of the human condition.
Time is not passing, we are, and ultimately we are passing over into a different realm, we die. Unthinkable to everyone, not to be HERE anymore, and yet Millions are passing on every day. Death is the ultimate threshold, we all will have to cross, and that is a very good reason to think and meditate about the nature and meaning of thresholds.
I am not a philosopher, but a visual artist, bound by my knowledge of form and its’ laws and rules, so my contribution to this aeonian challenge is, to create images out of my own spiritual, physical and intellectual experience as a human being, which might shed a light on some of the aspects of these concepts.