Jaime Carrejo. What does waiting mean to me? Sometimes when we think about the term waiting, our initial response may be to think about it as something that's passive, that we're not doing anything, that we're just sitting back and hoping that things change or tide or something happens to cause us to move into action. I think of waiting as something that isn't passive, that is an active response. A moment of reflection, a time where we can really think about who we are, what is around us, what is it that we want, how can we impact change around us? Waiting is actually, for me, a form of activism. Activism in the way that we can make changes in our own lives and the lives of others to make conscious decisions in that moment of waiting to do something that's different than maybe we've done before. Sometimes also, when we think about waiting, we sometimes reflect on things that might be missing in our lives or how we've cared for people or over-cared for people or have been under-cared for ourselves.
Maybe we've let somebody or a loved one pass by without spending enough attention to them. Maybe the needs of another's haven't been met. Maybe our needs haven't been met. That moment of waiting is an opportunity to respond and change and evolve and develop not just for ourselves, but for culture, for our loved ones, for family, for friends, for the world, for society. In this particular installation, when I was thinking about the form of waiting and thinking about the last year, it was an opportunity for us to step back and really take some time to observe some of the things that maybe we hadn't been before. Though anxious and really challenging and difficult, there are moments where I think we may have even felt moments of confinement. And in those moments of confinement, we were forced to slow down and to wait and to reflect and to really think about what was important to us and make changes according to those things that we found important to us.
I think we're used to living in a world where we get instant gratification. Amazon to our door, Uber eats directly to our door, going to the store to get exactly what we want, but what happens when the world makes us slow down and challenges us to think about how we live differently?
I think I was trying to figure out how to move my practice. What is it that you could make in a time of such urgent political discourse, of such urgent care needed for people because of a pandemic, of such urgent needs for change and economic statuses and equality for people from all different types of backgrounds? And I often look to literary references as a way for me to develop ideas for a project. And for this one, a friend of mine, Gretchen Schaeffer, suggested that I dive back into Waiting for Godot. It's an interesting play written by Samuel Beckett, having to do with the notion of these two people in an absurd play stumbling through the world, trying to figure out what's next and having circular conversations.
And in some of those aspects of absurdity, I think really reflected on the last year. Trying to figure out what was our agency as artists, our agencies as people and looking at what it meant to live in a time of twilight, at a time where we were really challenged by what it meant to be a human on this planet together. And yet, for some reason, unable to connect to one another.
When thinking about this installation, I was very interested in the notion of waiting rooms. They’re these spaces that are kind of in between knowing something and perhaps unknowing something. Between coming to a conclusion of something and perhaps still living in limbo. Waiting rooms, I think, also have a certain amount of anxiety attached to them, especially when we think of doctor's offices and perhaps being diagnosed with something or a way station between one place or another.