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Leonie
Fernhout

Unus mundus – with the past in the present

Detail of the installation –
Photo rotates in the air

How can the unus mundus concept give us more perspective on mourning in this world and how can art contribute to this?

In my research I have combined the scientific concept unus mundus, devised by Carl Gustav Jung, about our consciousness with the subject of mourning. The unus mundus concept is an idea about our consciousness that represents one world. In this world it is about the interaction between the physical reality of our real, our consciousness and the collective unconscious.

This research reveals the fundamental aspect of grieving. Within physical reality, grieving emphasizes listening to your mind and body.

Then I discuss sharing grief as an individual, which can also have an effect on a collective level. The positive side of contemporary technology allows people worldwide to be (mentally) connected to each other. A collective can have a supporting and healing effect in this way.

We are living in a time where much has changed and is lost in nature. Mourning can have a fundamental part in dealing with this global change. Donna Haraway describes how mourning allows us to see how to live with the memory of what existed in the past, so that we continue to work towards a more sustainable way of life on this planet.

Art has an essential function to become or remain aware of mourning. Grief is abstract. It has no fixed form, but art can translate it visually. Art can consciously and unconsciously involve grief in the physical world. And that’s what it takes to make grief a socially acceptable part of life.

Within my visual work I experiment with the translation of this research. The frame I am holding, is me directing the perspective of the viewer on the things I learned about grief in combination the unus mundus theory. So I emphasize that this is my point of view on grief.

Grief doesn’t work with fases. It comes and goes, acts in different ways and can always be going on in the back of your mind. The installation I present has no fixed shape or form. Sometimes I add a new element or I will remove one. That is why it will stay an ongoing project.

The viewer is invited to walk through the space to have a closer look and experience of this world created with visual elements motivated by my (un)consious grief.

Project details

Programme
Photography
Practices
Autonomous
Minor
Public & Private