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Sporadic photos and notes from a Psyche-midwife, cheerleader, anthropologist--aka clinical social worker in therapy practice. Photos are usually mine except for those of historical events/famous people. Music relevant to the daily topic is often included in a web video embedded below the blog. Click on highlighted links in the copy to get to source or supplemental material. For contact information, see my website @ janasvoboda.com or click on the button to the right below. Join in the conversation.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Tiny Resolutions Jan. 14: See the We in Your Eye (with Wolf Nkole Helzle)

Ed. note:  Today's blog's guest writer is German artist Wolf Nkole Helzle, who sort of saved my life.  I supposed less dramatically I could say that he vastly changed and improved it, during some quite dark days.  A few years ago, I had a number of losses in a short period of time.  I got laid low.   And in the midst of that, in ways I can't even recall because of the blur of those days, there was Wolf-- a man I had never met-- inviting me to participate in an art project called I Am We Interactive.

Wolf, exhibiting
The goal was to create a world community of daily photo diarists.  I wasn't an artist, or even a photographer.  But the project was less about photography than community.   It was about seeing through others' eyes, and sharing your world.  I needed an anchor.  And specifically, related to one of the losses (my sense of smell), I needed a new way to experience the world.  For the next two plus years I took and posted a photograph every day.  I looked at my days in new ways-- how could I share them with others who would not be able to experience them in person?  I met, at least on the virtual level, people from countries I may never see, and took part in their days in ways that led them to feel like family.  I had a wonderful road trip with a newly found German sister (love to you, sweet Anit!).  I don't post daily anymore.  But those 1000 photographs healed me.  Thank you, Wolf.

Wolf Helze has photographed and exhibited in many countries.  His major works consist of composite images of groups, from families to cities, where many photographs are carefully overlaid to create a huge composite image.  Look closely at them, and you will see people old and young, male and female, subtly shifting before your eyes.  While the pieces themselves are astounding with study, the heart and metaphors behind them are even more so.  I am we, and we are all together.

Thank you, Wolf, for making the world a smaller and cozier place.  With love, Jana
Wolf's self portrait
I asked Wolf if he would contribute to the blog this month.  This is what he wrote.  You will notice that English is not his native tongue, but I trust his heart and yours that it will be understood.

yes Jana. this night I dreamed:

Who is We?
I did not invent my hairs but they are growing
I did not invent my eyes but I see
I did not invent my brain but I think
I did not invent my tongue but I speak
I did not invent my ears but I hear
I did not invent my nose but I smell
I did not invent my mouth but I eat and drink
I did not invent my heart but it beats
I did not invent my lungs but I breath
I did not invent my face but I smile
I did not invent my hands but I shake yours
I did not invent my genitals
 but I have three children
I did not invent my feetand the upright walk but I go for a walk
I did not invent my soul but I feel
I did not invent my spirit but I am
Who is We?


This is a work "Homo universalis" made out of 1.387 single Portraits I photographed people from all over the world for the now opened Welcome Center in Stuttgart. The left one there are all these from the right one layered one by one.   ---Wolf

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