Fading Senses

Ligia Popławska

2019 - Ongoing

Solastalgia is a relatively new concept for understanding the implications of the loss of ecosystems on our mental and emotional health. Described as an earth-related state, it reflects the zeitgeist of our time. As an increasing problem in societies, it manifests itself in a feeling of dislocation, a lived experience of the loss of the present. The perspective of a fading world and a state of fading-away is close to sensory deprivation. Absence of senses, one of the biggest human fears, can lead to intra-mental perception, echolocation and memory flashbacks. As I have temporarily lost one of the senses in the past, this deprivation became my intuitive leading guide, which I applied to the working method and to the visual language.

During the process, I was drawn to places connected to the notion of supposed stability and protection, like socialist architecture, space of a zoo, a home for visually impaired or an acrobatic centre. Focusing on these places and on people who inhabit them, I searched for visual signs of disconnection, which reflect the feeling of insecurity. Being strongly concerned about solastalgia’s impact, I asked myself, what happens if we lose our senses? How does it affect our emotional health and memory, in the times of multispecies extinction? ‘Fading Senses’ refers to the dread of ungraspable sensation but also underlines human disconnection from the natural habitat.

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