The “Not knowing”

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of having a very pleasant conversation with Magdalena Kurpierz and her team. We were planning a “communion” event to be held at the premises of Kvalito Consulting, Magdalena’s company in #Basel.

The conversation was relaxed and productive and I had a very uplifting feeling, until one question threw me for a loop. The question was about the final exhibition of my art project “The Last Supper” and its future location, which is completely understandable. However, what made me stutter was my answer – “I don’t know”.

I discovered “not knowing” as a tool in my first steps as a painting and art teacher. I had many students who knew much more than I did and painted better than I did. Their questions and obstacles always motivated me to try out and learn something new. But I rarely admitted that I “didn’t know” something. I “had” to know, I was the teacher after all.

Over the years, I have realized that this attitude is perhaps due to my cultural background. The men in my family and region (Israel/Middle East) just “knew” things. Admitting that you “didn’t know” something was not part of being a man and was rarely used in the general culture of conversation, whether the knowledge was there or not.

My first self-realization on this subject came from a picture I painted. I planned this painting for several months in advance and made several sketches with a model specifically chosen for this painting. On the day of painting, everything was perfectly organized and I was ready – I knew what to do. But within the first few minutes of painting I made a mistake and painted a shin wrong, I couldn’t fix that little mistake.

It was so bad that after almost two months (almost a year’s work in total) I had to give up and destroy the painting. In doing so, however, I realized that I had not included a clear element that had been part of my working method up to that point.

In my current #artproject “Communion” I am very often confronted with this element and in some moments I feel like I don’t know anything at all, which can turn into a rollercoaster of emotions depending on the day. But so far, every time I come back to my center after such a roller coaster day, I know that what I’m doing is right and even if it’s not always how I envision it, the project is progressing and doing what it’s supposed to do – bring people together!

Thank you Team Kvalito Consulting Group for giving me the space to not know!

I’m looking forward to working with you and to the “Abendmahl” in Basel !