“My childhood home was destroyed by a fire. The event caused a shock and a wake of many emotions, practical concerns and changes. Almost everyone faces the clearing of one’s parental home at some point in his life, often after a move or death of the parent(s). This period of emotions, considerations, and cleaning, I consciously experienced over time. I also tried to take pictures.” Karin Borghouts
Flaring carbon particles merge into patterns of flaming tongues licking skyward. House on fire. Fierce exothermic chemical processes consuming it. Objects change form, change colour and fall apart into unrecognizable ashes through the scorching heat of a reaction that will only stop when nothing is left to be oxidized. It leaves the witness in a delicate balance between fleeing and watching. Instinct. From time immemorial the unstoppable fire induces an intangible respect, causes a near-sacred momentum uniting the opposites of “extasy” and “supreme cautiousness”.
When someone’s material life’s story completes this way, in this short but intense process it’s as if all linked memories and feelings are fixed as well as dissolved. A wormhole between just now and tomorrow. An abrupt transition. No use resisting. A confrontation with an unplanned future that’s suddenly there.
In the black wetness among smoke, hissing and cooling the new reality commences. Recall is only sustained by memory now. Parting with objects that carried fragments of a past life can be painful, but there is also a feeling of liberation from the material-psychological bond. The carriers of history vanish, the meaning remains and looks for a new point of attachment. This irreversible point in life has congealed memories suddenly and intensely flaring up. The fire chases ballast. It purifies.
This work is a testimony. The parental home that was and would be always there burned down. Aesthetizing the event holds a form of respect for everything that was transformed from matter into a renewed state of existence.