Denys Blacker, Fragile Future, 2011

8 Photographs.
Giclée print on Canson Infinity Edition Rag 310 gr paper.
28 x 170 cm
Edition of 5
Camera: Uma Bunnag
Performance performed at To Be Present Festival. Museum voor Moderne Kunst, Arnhem, Holanda 2011



Fragile Future is a work that enters into dialogue with chance and proposes the question “What future does the planet have? One of the sleeves of the dress is much longer than the other, which refers to the expression of “stretching the arm more than the sleeve”, a synonym that means living beyond the economic possibilities. Sewn onto the long sleeve of the dress are 24 red painted porcelain strips that form two hexagrams from the ancient Chinese book of mutations, the I Ching.
During the action, which consists of carefully wrapping the sleeve around my body, some of the ceramic strips break. At the end, the I Ching is read based on the remaining white strips, broken or whole, and a reading of the oracular book is obtained.
The performance gave 4 possible readings/answers:

Hexagram 5 (Wait): The Wait – If you are truthful, you will have light and success. / Perseverance brings happiness / It is favourable to cross the great waters.

Clouds climb in the sky: the image of waiting: The nobleman eats and drinks. He rejoices and is comforted with good things.

Hexagram 40 (Liberation): Liberation. The Southwest is auspicious / If there is nothing left where one should go / the return is fortunate / If there is still something where one should go / then promptness is fortunate.

The thunder and rain dissipate the image of liberation. The nobleman forgives mistakes and absolves guilt.

Hexagram 41 (Decrease) Loss together with truthfulness/work elevated luck without blemish / You can persevere in it. / It is appropriate to undertake something. / How is this put into practice? / Two small bowls can be used for sacrifice.

At the foot of the mountain, there is the lake: the image of the decline. The nobleman controls his anger and masters his instincts.

Hexagram 19 (Approach) – Approach is highly successful. / Perseverance is conducive. / When the eighth month arrives there will be misfortune.

Above the lake is the land, the image of the approach. The nobleman is inexhaustible in his intention to teach and without limits to sustain and protect the people.


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