The Fool

The Fool
The artistic alter ego

“Man is least himself when he talks in his own person.

Give him a mask, and he will tell the truth. “

Oscar Wilde

What does the archetype The Fool, the Joker, the mimeartist, masks from Greek tragicomedy and Butoh dancers have in common? Teigen sees these silent, miming and whitepainted characters as mirrors to and of the society and the individual. Neutral and without inflicting any attitudes on us, the simply show us our own situation bac to us. The topics they convey are complex emotions and situations which are difficult for the single individual to either understand or accept. So difficult that words are not enough? “A fool” is no threat to our intellect. And this puts us in a position where we are more open to endure what we are confronted with. We can point and laugh, if thats what we need, or perhaps dare to see ourselves in them.

Why did we have a need for these characters through history? Are they created as symbols representing different aspects of the psychological and emotional function which exist in us? Are they role models? Can they teach us something about complex emotions?

I created an artistic alter ego, a role character I could step in and out from and play trough. As the archetype, my role character has no gender, name or age. It is not a human of flesh and blood, it is a role character without its own background, and which needs to be stepped into, to live. Therefor it cannot exist without an actor or a spectator. And it needs a form of stage, which can be many things.
A camera, a tent, a book.

The Fool
The artistbook

I have used the artistbook as medium to investigate memoryloss from trauma. What happens when you loose acces to your memories? Where di they go and how does it feel to navigate in a world you no longer recognize or understand the social and moral rules to anymore?
The body has its own memory, so when the cognitive memory fails us, there will still exist physical traces within the body. I have tried to find these traces by exploring memoryloss as a visual concept.

I have used different mediums and materials and invented various exercises to get in contact to memories. Key mediums were mindmaps, collage, blind emboss etching, and gestalt chairs. Along side a study on classic traumaintegration and the whitepainted characters.  

The Fool
The Mimeartist
The Clown
The Joker
Greek Masks
Butoh dancers

What do they have in common?

Besides being painted white, they are all silent, have a naive expression and uses humor. The topics they adress are often complex emotions or morally complex situations which is hard for the individual to discover in themselves and understand. So hard that words are not enough?

“A fool” is no threat to our intellect, and that puts us in the position where we can listen and endure. They are mirrors.