A collaboration with Michael Hanson, inspired by Deleuze and Guattari's Becoming Animal

I Hate You/I Love You

“Hate leaves ugly scars, love leaves beautiful ones.” --Mignon McLaughlin, The Complete Neurotic's Notebook

Two sides of the same coin. Love and Hate inspire actions that move, spiraling in intense, even unpredictable ways. Professor Semir Zeki of University College London writes, "Hate is often considered to be an evil passion that should, in a better world, be tamed, controlled and eradicated…Like love, it is often seemingly irrational and can lead individual(s) to heroic and evil deeds…The lover is often less critical and judgmental regarding the loved person, it is more likely that in the context of hate the hater may want to exercise judgment in calculating moves to harm, injure or otherwise exact revenge." 1

Avery Scott paraphrases Edmund Burke from A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful (1757). Burke believes art is an examination of how sensation, imagination, and judgment are interrelated in the experience. “Burke says that, in order to understand the origin of our ideas of the sublime and beautiful, we must examine the experience of pain and pleasure. Pain is not simply the removal of pleasure, and pleasure is not simply the removal of pain. Pain may be caused by the removal of pleasure, but pain may also arise in and of itself. Similarly, pleasure may be caused by the removal of pain, but pleasure may arise in and of itself…According to Burke, pain may be a more powerful emotion than pleasure, and may have a much stronger influence on the imagination. However, the idea of pain, or of danger, when the individual is not actually in pain or in danger, may yield a pleasurable form of fear, which is described as delight. This delight is caused by the sublime…Burke argues that the sublime may be caused by deprivation, darkness, solitude, silence, or vacuity. The sublime may also be caused by immensity or infinity. The sublime may also be caused by magnitude, grandeur, or elegance.” 2

The artists in the exhibition fire at us from two opposing vantage points. One vision invites us to literally smell the roses, dance with each other in delightful jouissance and experience their loving messages. The otherness of their love is a message of revenge, hate or retribution for being wronged. Their audience may be a specific entity, an enemy of their person or practice, a love they know or wish to know. They may be enticing us to see them as friends who wish us well but beware: their audience may also be a generalized, radical alienated Otherness with language and the law, inscribed in the order of the symbolic who pisses them off. We hope that when taken together these sweet and bitter pills do not negate the viewer into a state of indifference but equal something sublime that is greater than the sum of their polar parts.

1.http://www.sixwise.com/Newsletters/2010/March/17/Love-Hate-Relationships.htm 2.http://www.angelfire.com/md2/timewarp/burke.html

--Michael Hanson

All Images © Micol Hebron, 2016