By Claudia Espart Hernández
Recently I went to a show at the Pennings Foundation by Risk Hazekamp, an artist known for challenging established notions of normalcy and nominations of the self. In the show, she tackles colonial legacies, the concept of ‘the other’, the reification of privilege and the way that these intersecting gazes create dichotomies, knot points which can be used in turn to dismantle outdated preconceptions.
I talked to the invigilator, and although she offered brilliant insight into the little anecdotes of this or another piece, my thirst for exploring the questions shooting in my mind was not satiated. She suggested I wrote a piece for their website, to contact Risk as well. Sheer happiness fueled my step as I left the exhibit, wondering what would I way to the curator.
I have been struggling to order my ideas, to collate my questions. I’m altogether interested in the content as much as her way of putting it together and how she herself came to encounter the topic and tackle it. I’m fascinated by the way she single-handedly pulled off a show of that stature, and how varied the work in it is, albeit focused in photography as a medium, the use of the definition was pushed in many ways. I’m deeply intrigued and impressed by this person as she checks a lot of the boxes I myself have been exploring recently as a practitioner (curation, decolonisation theorisations, art installations).
It has been a month now, and although I mustered the courage to send the email praising the expo and suggesting an interview, I have yet to ask anything. I feel so blocked and uninspired, I feel I know nothing about the questions I supposedly want to ask, nor the field of curation. I feel like an impostor. I suppose I feel intimidated by the idea of sounding like an amateur, and not reaching the bar I have unconsciously set myself.
But I'm stopping this right now. It has been long enough and I owe it to myself to take the risk, to fail, to err. I was quick to forget my favourite piece of advice, that one doesn’t ever stop learning, and that those who truly inspire me are those who are in constant evolution, renewing themselves and pushing forwards by being fearless. Because fearlessness is not about never failing, but knowing that you will and getting up after it and doing it over and over again, walking one step at a time and being gracious with yourself for it.