January 9, 2020

Why is loneliness the same as smoking 15 cigarettes a day?

Canaan Balsam, 45

This work examines loneliness and, in particular, the isolating effect that it has on the individual. How it can grow and metastasise, until it becomes incommunicable, resistant to empathy, an alien host overtaking the body. As if loneliness, and the desperation that it gives birth to, almost becomes something physical, like a plague sore, like a bell that rings ahead of the person. When one experiences loneliness, one focuses more and more upon the self, as a route of self-preservation. We are not aware of this happening, but we become like an animal on the edge of a herd, or banished from the pack. We become vulnerable and empathy dissipates as we become more and more estranged from the outside world. One’s social skills erode, until social interactions become fraught and an insidious spiral of miscommunication reinforces this distance within us. Perhaps, the real horror lies in the fact that this can take root in any of us, that it sits within our future like a cell, deciding whether to mutate and destroy the self.

Life is a horizontal fall, 2019Moving Image