What’s in a box?

Tiny, big, carton, coloured boxes…they wrap up a piece of our existence. Indispensable when we move from one place to another, they keep our belongings locked-up, a small universe that we hide from the rest of the world.

Part of the “putting in the box” process is also choosing what to leave aside. Throwing away things that are not worth keeping anywhere near anymore. Things that do not make sense to the present and that certainly do not belong to the future. The decision making…Packing the obsolete or not. The hesitation…how valuable is the past? Do I need? Do I want? This one goes in, this one goes out. The boxes say something about the way in which we organise our lives.

Boxes work on a “close” and “open” principle. If Pandora (the equivalent of Eve in the Greek mythology and as disobedient as her) had not opened (suspense!) that bloody box, how much trouble would we have been spared? That woman left us with a box full of hope only. And it was actually a jar.

Miroslaw Balka, a Polish sculptor and a man who obviously thinks out of the box, gave some careful consideration to this object and literally built an extra size one for us to hop in. I was lucky enough to try his “Black Box” sensory experience four years ago at the TATE Modern and the piece of art made quite an impression on me. It is haunting to get a perspective from the “inside”, to walk in complete darkness, not knowing where the void will end and to hear the sound of emptiness with every step. Balka’s box contains us and causes us to confront with our capacity to “feel” around. It is so scary that I was grateful he did not block the way out. Sometimes we need to be confined to better understand freedom.

Today, I felt like praising the Box, its limitations and its possibilities.

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