I spent a couple of hours in the studio this afternoon cutting up the string which will go on the floor beneath the net of the dreamcatcher. Quite a bit of the string (which was dyed in balls) had remained relatively untocuhed by the dye, yet all the same, this gave the pile of string an interesting appearance. Of course there is no getting away from the fact that the pile alludes to the mountain of human hair which one can see in the museum at Auschwitz, but as I cut more of the string, I saw the string not so much as hair as unwritten words. The fact that some of it was white, ‘uninked’ as it were made me think of words that had been written and then erased. The way the dye has taken to some of the string has also given it the appearance of wire, and again this added to the idea of things left unwritten, but in this instance, things left unsaid, as if the wires were phone wires.
If this pile of string is to allude to things never said and never-written then the dreamcatcher becomes an attempt by the tourist (the viewer) to imagine what they (the victims) might have said and might have written. But like the dreamcatcher as something of an appropriated cultural symbol, the net of words and ‘voices’ are also appropriated from a decimated culture and can in no way tell us what it was really like to be there. Dreamcatchers let the good dreams through and ensnare the nightmares; we can never know what it was like to be there, and we will always pass through.
The question is, how do I enable the viewer to understand the string as unwritten words?