Wax crayon and watercolor on cotton paper, 8.5x11”/21x28cm.
My daughter Helena draws the lines with crayons, and I fill with watercolor some of the spaces that she contoured. This work is first a re-imagination of the relation of power that adults establish with children. I take Helena’s time and decision fully into consideration, and as soon as she stops engaging with a paper and moves on to the following white paper, I accept the work as done.
Helena is 22 months, and it’s been about five months that she (from my perspective) started to draw intentionally. I see her intention and her attention connected directly with her joy. So each one of the drawings that she created is a manifestation of her joyful existence, of someone who creates absolutely present in the moment.
My coloring of a few shapes within her drawing is a gesture to re-imagine how I position myself in relation to her. Instead of shaping and guiding, I look at the forms that she creates and use the fluid medium of watercolor to be in the paper with her. In doing so, I do not create layers; instead, I find a way to co-exist in the universe that she already created.
I take the title of the work from Denise Ferreira da Silva’s text in which she develops the idea of “The Entangled World,” an uncertain condition of sociality “under which everything that exists is a singular expression of each and every actual-virtual other existant.” From da Silva’s perspective, the “elementary entanglement” is how we can experience difference without separability. In the mother-daughter relationship, difference can be a fine line, a deep hole, or an explosive reaction. In observing and living with our inevitable difference, I study our actions on paper as a way to nurture our togetherness and celebrate her singularity.