The Assistants

My reflection on the live art event, Influence @ Livestock, is featured on the new blog space in:Action — Irish Live Art Review.


by Leona Lee Cully

In fairy-tales, and in the work of Kafka, we encounter helpers or assistants who offer clues to the protagonist on their journey. Walter Benjamin claimed that these assistants are easily forgotten but they linger on as hazy figures that we know are important in some way. They represent a complementary world, a world beyond language. Assistants are often tricksters who can laze away time without guilt. They are dreamers whose ambitious plans never seem to reach fruition like friends we know, our maybe ourselves. But only because the journey is not seen as valuable, only the happy ending which of course is never achieved in Kafka’s world. We ignore the assistants at our peril because they represent our unfulfilled desires and are the hoarders of our fears. They translate back to us, in gestures and offerings, all that we seek to forget. But if we forget…

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