Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Hide and seek

"Hide & Seek" (found art)
keep art alive :: Artist unknown

"Spin me round again,
and rub my eyes,
this can't be happening."

Hide & Seek (live) :: Imogen Heap

As children, we play games that have us disappearing, and re-appearing when someone seeks us out, and finds us. We run and run, turning corners and ducking in doorways, searching out the very best place to vanish into. That feeling, butterflies rattling on our insides, richocheting off our ribs, fluttering around inside our hearts; I can still feel that kind of accelerated pulse - that sense of anticipation, mixed with a dose of fear - that would feel like a jolt of life in me.

I would hold my breath when I heard someone coming in close. My eyes would shut tight, my hands palm flat over them as if that action would create a barrier - a trick of invisibility. My heartbeat would seem so loud that I thought the neighbors round the corner could hear it, yet I was undiscovered. I listened intently, recognizing the footsteps growing fainter, and farther away, until they were gone. My heart would still beat though, harder still as I wrestled with the choice to reveal myself, or stay hidden away.

What if it was a trick? What if the seeker was just hiding themselves, seeing if I'd give myself away, so that they could catch me? Or what if I stayed hidden and no one noticed? Hours going by until I'd finally stand up, only to find that everyone had long gone home? Or, what if I shouted "Here I am, here I am", and the one who was looking came running, smiling, so happy to see me?

"One of life's primal situations; the game of Hide and Seek. Oh, the delicious thrill of hiding while the others come looking for you, the delicious terror of being discovered, but what panic when, after a long search, the others abandon you! You mustn't hide too well. You mustn't be too good at the game. The player must never be bigger than the game itself."

~ Jean Baudrillard

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