Hands raised against an unseen barrier, the figure stands before you – you would expect her to look at you but, eerily, there is no face left to do so. As if blown away, the shoulders end in ragged nothingness. Something is eating away at her, slowly wearing her down and eroding her substance. She is melting away into her own shadow, losing shape and losing herself.
She is trying to get away, to get out. There seems to be an unseen barrier raised around the platform she is standing on. There are no metal bars, no wall, no glass. It’s just air – yet something is holding her.
The viewer imagines this wall around her in the same way society constructs invisible barriers around each and every one of us. We are trapped in an invisible cage of roles, rules and propriety. They chafe at us, wear our individual self away until we are just shadows following orders.
Do you ever feel like that?
Artwork: Jaak Soans, Vari (Shadow), 1977, seen at Eesti Kunstimuuseum, Tallinn, Estonia.