Saturday, February 21

February 20

I have found myself fascinated by an article I read in the NY Times, from Thursday's paper, about a performance artist who spent a year within a cage.  365 days behind bars, in self imposed confinement, with no toilet (but some good friends!), for the sake of art.  Here is the article:A Year in a Cage: A Life Shrunk to Expand Art

I wondered to myself if there is any way, or any thing, that I felt so passionate about that I would be able to do this.  I don't think so.  I have felt confined the past few months, not by choice (though in reality is was a choice to have surgery), and compared to a cage I have luxury - being able to walk freely from one room to another...   


Then I got to thinking about the self imposed cages we all create for ourselves, at one time or another in our lives.  Haven't you? even though we are walking around freely - we still manage to find ways to hold ourselves back, confine our truth, cage our spirits... 
Tehching Hsieh (pronounced dur-ching shay) has definitely got me thinking, which makes me love his art, and want to see his work, which is on display at MoMA through May 8th.


  1. You, my dear love, always make me think.

    A cage for a year without a toilet??? See, I don't get it. Is that art? I am not deep enough for that.

    But self-impossed cages. I wonder. Even though I feel free, I know that anywhere there have been limits, I placed them on myself. Now with the cancer, I am limited indeed and now I want to be free.

    How are you feeling this week? Did you have back surgery Karin because of the lupus?

    Love Renee

  2. Oh, dear Karin, I know about those self-imposed cages ! I have even made them into prisons at various times in my know cages within cages ? Sometimes I think that those cages have a deep purpose though. When we finally release ourselves from them, the freedom we feel is so incredibly soul-satisfying ! Could we really value our freedom so much if we had never been in the cage for awhile ?

    Happy thought-filled Saturday !
    Love Kim
    Ox Ox

  3. I came here via Renee's blog. So glad I did! I love your rich journal pages and your provoking thoughts and words.

    I limit my world because of cages I put myself in all the time. And I know better, yet I still do it.
    It will take me the rest of my life to figure out why perhaps.

    Ironically, I help everyone else out of their cages and in some ways that's enough to set me free.


  4. Hmmm, self-imposed cages. I know all about those. I've busted out of a few too.

    I also read an article recently, along this very same theme, that has stayed with me. I share it with you now: Ropes That Bind.

  5. I like that there is a sun behind the prison's bars Or is the sun/light imprisoned ?

    I can relate to what you say about cages and self-imposed cages.

    Beautiful entry Karin. :)

  6. I saw that article too. But your thoughts about self imposed cages take it one step further. Love the pages that came from this.

  7. It's quite frustrating to think of our self imposed cages. If we are strong minded enough to do this to ourselves one would think we would be stong enough to banish the cages. Food for thought!

  8. HI Renee, I know the idea of no toilet was(on the surface) the absolute hands down deal breaker for me!! He had friends empty his bucket, aka chamber pot, daily. (But don't we cat lovers do that for our kitties every day?!) There are so many ways to define art - this was a performance piece... call it what ever we like, it certainly is thought provoking, which makes me like it!

    Yes - the cages within cages, indeed Kim! And how silly they can be! But you make a good point - it helps the appreciation of freedom when we've earned those keys to unlock the doors of the cages we break free from.

    Welcome, Lolo! Glad you came (I love Renee!!). hmmm, that's interesting - freeing others from their cages, while staying put in your own. I'm sure many of us can relate to aspects of that role.

    Thanks for the links EM. The Ropes that Bind piece, with training animals like the elephants mentioned, makes sense.

    How often do we do something and out of habit - a pattern engrained becomes the cage... Or messages from other people become our cages. I think of art teachers, or music teachers that kids have that tell them "you can't sing" "you can't draw", so they never open their mouths, or try to paint again. Creativity shuts down and the cage door locks all because of one misguided voice.

    Interesting Maria - I drew this with the sun outside the cage, but it could be perceived either way!

    Thank you Seth. The more I think about the article, the further the symbolism of his work takes me!

    I agree Robyn, it is frustrating on one hand, but at the same time it's exciting - to recognize that the cage is more illusion than real more often than not. Suddenly the thrill of a challenge is ignited, knowing more can be experienced, and that I have the keys to unlock my own limitations!!

  9. oh, i love these colors juxtaposed with the gray bars, karin... and yes to the self imposed cages. we have so caged ourselves AND we're the only ones with the key to set ourselves free... xo


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