Force Majeure is a weird piece for me. It's a piece of art that, while I enjoy it, feels joyless. I almost don't like to look at it, because it serves as a reminder of a time in my life which I kind of want to forget. Yet, I love it, because it's probably one of more true and honest pieces I've made in my career.
About two years ago, after constantly struggling with the idea that other women could provide me with more contentment than the woman I was with, I reached a breaking point and ended a the relationship I was in at the time. I was finally "free", free to move around from person to person, free to be with anyone, free to do anything. Some may have called this a "hoe phase", or called me a "fuck boy", but at the time I fully embraced those labels and that lifestyle. I had felt like something was missing, and I was determined to find it.
I'm not sure what I was looking for, love, validation, or just a warm body to sleep next to, but even when I got those, I never felt closer to whole. So, rather than looking in and realizing I was treading the wrong path, I figured I just needed more. I moved from girl to girl, searching for something within them that I could never find, digging myself in deeper with every move. It almost felt good at the time, binging on the fools gold of sexual attention, but running faster on the carnal treadmill wasn't getting me anywhere closer to where I wanted to go. But I kept running and running, not even thinking about it, and it was far too late before I finally stopped and thought about who I was running over along the way.
It took me a while to realize the damage I had done. In my search for whatever I was looking for, I used the women I was with along the way without even thinking about how they felt about it, or me. In my head, all that mattered was what I was going through, and it didn't even cross my mind that I could have been hurting people. Now it makes me cringe to think about the women who put enough trust in me to open up, only for me to move on from them without regard. It sounds like it should be common sense, but I wasn't thinking of these women as fully realized people, they were just someone to hold on to until I was done with them.
I feel as if this is the attitude many men approach women with, not one of malice, but of ignorance. In this piece, I tried to depict the reality of the situation, the reality I feel too few men get to see, one that I wish I had seen when I was going through this. This piece is the opposite of Fidelity, or perhaps the flip side of the same coin. Where Fidelity represents a male idealization of women, Force Majeure shows what can happen when that idealization goes unchecked. Creating Force Majeure was an exercise in empathy for me, and I hope it serves as one for other men as well. It's important to realize that the people you interact with are real, and that the way you treat them may impact them in ways you didn't expect or don't understand. I've learned this lesson, I just hope others can as well without leaving the same damage in their wake. I've changed, and that's the only solace I can find now as I've forgone forgiveness.
All I can hope to do now is teach others to be better through my art and these words, and I'll delve a bit deeper on the subject tomorrow in my next post, which will be about my piece "Kaleidoscope". Until then, thank you for reading.