I am a genius. Ludicrous or life-affirming? We in Ireland, March 2021, are currently once again under a pandemic-related lockdown. We may travel only 5k from our homes for essential reasons only. We are permitted no social visiting of any kind and all schools and non-essential businesses are closed. This work is both revolt against and a coping mechanism for the stresses of being at home, day in day out.
During this lockdown, I see my ageing face in the mirror more than I wish to. I am confronted with my life passing and find myself hypothesising on what could be done if I had more space, more time. At the same time, I must accept and embrace the situation that I find myself in. I am here now, so here is where the making must happen.
In a gesture of rejection of the daily apathy of lockdown and its contrasting effects of claustrophobia and agoraphobia, I force myself to make this affirmation each day. It serves as a reminder to myself that as each day passes here at home, I prefer to feel mad despair, quiet rage and to laugh at my own stubbornness than sink into resigned apathy and bored dissatisfaction. I will not fade out and go away. My time is not up yet. I claim my space and my right to be here, to create and to make. I will not waste it. Speak it, believe it. I am a genius.
Rachel Macmanus is a visual artist based in Co Clare, Ireland. Her practice has two intertwined areas of focus- drawing and performance art. Her drawing practice focuses on community-based site-specific work, depicting the human form and exploratory mark-making. Her performative practice addresses themes around endurance, repetition and physicality. ‘In the past year my practice has helped me navigate the most difficult times- as a way to communicate and a way to stay grounded in reality during dystopian times’ Rachel has a BA in Visual Communications from NCAD Dublin and an MFA from OCA, UK.
Daily Affirmations (video still)