To the rescue of Vitality: a journey through the deformation of the expressive arts
To the rescue of Vitality: a journey through the deformation of the expressive arts Deformation and Vitality found me when some years ago I started a creative process with the professor of visual arts, Carlo Vitalino, and I created, for the first time, a self-portrait. In a first 1 moment, I tried to stay true to the dimensions by following the guidelines so that a picture emerges as real as possible of myself. However, I felt that more than making me true to reality I wanted to play with the possibilities of my own ways. It was so great the desire to transgress the real forms that my teacher finally encouraged me to deform my own face.When I talked about deforming my face, Carlo encouraged me to exaggerate my features, to play with the stains of colored inks, risking to throw the color from the very pomo of paint, moving away in his proposal of having to create with the conventional materials like the brush or the spatula. I propose to use tiner, work on the ground and start connecting more with my own impulses and gestures than with a final product. I started painting on the easel with a typical charcoal looking at the mirror permanently to copy my face and I finished in the garden exploring with various materials and inks of hardware wrapped in a sense of risk, chaos, play and the presence of all my body. Thus began a creative freedom that marked the way I had to make art and inspired my future creations. 1 1 The word "vital" comes after a few years, towards the end of this creative process, when I made a sample that had that name and that was presented in an art gallery in Lima. Vital 2 had to do with all those images that emerged and were crucial to me. These images were vital to the extent that they connected me to myself and made me feel alive. The name of the exhibition arises from the conversations I had with two professionals. Odette Vélez, who responded aesthetically from the poetry after witnessing all the paintings 3 that were to be part of the sample. His poetry was an aesthetic answer that allowed me to continue to understand my own paintings from another language and approach the world of words without having to move quickly away from the artistic experience. The poem, which was called "Wild Exodus" (see Annex) was part of the installation of the sample and was woven with the titles of my works. Likewise, he was present as curator Victor Krebs, who closely accompanied all 4 of my feelings and thoughts, and wrote the text that presented the exhibition. (See Annex).When the title "Vital" emerges for the sample, all the sensations and images that were still scattered in my imaginary found the link that was and contained them. The first exhibition I had made earlier was called "Deformation" 5 and now this second sample was entitled "Vital". Deformation and Vitality were now inseparable, one could not exist without the other contributing later to the understanding of the work of the expressive arts. Each of these words came at different times in my creative process, yet today these two concepts together form part of a single way of understanding the processes where art is at the center of experience. Some questions arise, then, to investigate in relation to the Deformation and Vitality that I would like to develop in this writing. What is Deformation? What would be its importance in the accompanying processes from the expressive arts? What is Vitality? How are the deformation and vitality of the human being related? What aspects should be taken into account in a workspace from the Expressions Arts to enter the possibility of finding ourselves with the deformation and vitality? Indigo Gallery, San Isidro. 2 Professor of Studies at TAE Peru 3 Philosopher, curator and professor of the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru. 4 Individual exhibition held at Café Café restaurant, Lima Peru. 5 2 1. Deformation My approach to deformation has to do with the possibility of going for the forms that most sense have for us, in the search for a voice of their own, beyond what society, culture, heritage want for us. In my creative process I realized that if one follows the path of deformation, as happened with my self-portrait, a true, powerful and authentic image will come. An image that will allow later to open new paths, routes and dimensions within oneself. As human beings we must allow ourselves to fragment our forms, break them down and recreate them in multiple ways, tolerating many times the chaos and uncertainty that can occur. For this, it is important, from the arts, to learn to stay in the state of the "no form" and to enter into a liminal space of experience where even the image we seek is not found. Stephen Levine mentions the need for fragmentation of the human being. It tells us that center 6 of our making as facilitators is the ability to work with disintegration and that this is fundamental to the emergence of the creative act in the process of accompaniment. He also mentions that it is essential for the human being to fall, to fragment, to disintegrate and to feel the despair that comes from not finding the whole. It's here when creativity can come, when we can strip away our previous identities and we can allow new ways to exist. From my own creative process I faced several times in the vacuum and the feeling of not finding a whole or an integrated image. Rather, multiple images arrived that opened up to several different possibilities. Even if I remember what my first show was open to the public, I see that my paintings are very different from the second exhibition and make me feel for moments that I still don't get to have a style of my own in art. Then I understood that I just wanted to be able to play with the disintegration of my forms without having yet to find a single way of painting or a single story or technique that I could define. Later, immersed in this exploratory search, I came across the possibility of painting on a digital medium. I discovered that I could dump my images without intermediaries (art materials that one usually uses to paint). My fingers slipped over the screen of an IPad and they involved in a free and spontaneous way with the digital screen. The time was marked by a go and come from my moving fingers where they rehearsed over and over again, as little impulses, the going building from the color and the lines. Few times I set out from ideas or pre-conceived themes, it was my gestures on the screen that were creating the possibilities in the making. I could even disappear what was created in a few seconds and try again a new image. I was fascinated by this possibility of play that allowed me the digital media. A kind of instant art emerged that made the moment present, which allowed to capture the first impulse that comes many times from the body and the senses. This technology confronted me with error multiple times, without fear of mistakes because it was possible within this digital medium, immediately correct the stroke, without thinking about the final product, but only in the pleasure that meant the process of going creating something. The possibility of taking risks was present all the time and the digital screen was able to tolerate it all. These qualities I discovered painting with my fingers over an IPad favored my ability to keep deforming and finding images that made sense to me. The opening of the senses, the invitation of this medium to make the mistake appear without fear and the possibility of approaching the painting as if it were a simple game, created the possibility of approaching my own Deformation. 6 LEVINE, Stephen, LEVINE, Ellen and KNILL, Paolo. (2005). Principles and Practice of Expressive Arts Therapy: Toward a therapeutic Aesthetics. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers. 3 In my creative process I had an interest in looking for artists who deformed in their work with the arts. This is how I found myself, through Deleuze, with the look of the painter Francis Bacon that in relation to the deformation of his paintings, he comments: " Most of a picture is always convention, appearance, and that's what I try to remove from my pictures. I seek the essential, that painting assumes in the most direct way possible the material identity of what it represents. My way of deforming images brings me closer to the human being than if I sat down and made his portrait. I face the fact of being a human being. I get closer as I walk away " (Deleuze 1996:198) For a while I also explored, like Bacon, the world of portraits. However, he intended at the beginning of this process to be faithful to a reality. He drew trying to copy the faces of the others in a mimetic way. I wanted the portrayed to be reflected in the painting but in this attempt I would stop enjoying with the possibility of playing and deforming in my own way. It is from this sense of discomfort that I decided to move away from the realistic drawing, the exact forms and I found myself again with the pleasure of the game, the spontaneous gestures, the strokes, the stains and the colors. The possibility of deforming allowed me to play without restrictions, I was approaching my senses, impulses and desires. Towards the end of my creative process it was necessary to create titles for all the paintings. I wrote a lot about them and also described my images in a phenomenological way trying to be faithful to what was seen without interpretations, without encouragement to go beyond one's own image, dialoguing with them more than understanding them rationally. The poem "Exodus Silvestre" by Odette Vélez and the text by Victor Krebs for the exhibition (see annexes), allowed me to find myself from the poetic word with my paintings. Finally, I think that all the words that came out of this process have contributed to my understanding of the deformation and vitality in the work of the expressive arts. Next I want to highlight the main words that emerged from my paintings and then go on to understand them in relation to the subject I am raising: Decomposing Chorrear Fragmentar Disfigure Blurring Dissolve Reconstitute Fragment 4 I think of fragmentation as a concept that generates fear because it means to break with something that, in some way, brings us some comfort; however, actions like dissolving, squirming and breaking down might be more kind in thinking about the creative processes that invite you to deform. When you are working as a facilitator of an expressive Arts process, it is important to take into account that there are other ways to enter into the possibility of becoming deformed and these do not have to be felt like sudden or violent. Sometimes just making a small gesture about a role is the beginning of new possibilities, if we have present that this first stroke can be the beginning of various directions. The possibility of fragmenting is necessary in art. It would allow us to meet a diversity of stories, stories, images that are no longer part of a single indivisible unit but rather now show in their multiple forms. We can play with the possibility of fragmenting an image, look at it and attend it in its various parts and who knows from that new universe emerges a new image capable of bringing us surprises. Fragmenting is to dare to deconstruct the image, awakening the curiosity of exploring several of its parts. From the creative process with the expressive arts, intermodality, could help us in this task. be able to immerse myself from the sound language, for example, to understand a visual image and in this way deepen it. The possibility of continuing to deepen an image through the different languages of art, would allow us to attend new sensorial routes in creation, to continue to dialogue with the image in search of her real identity, would make us closer to what she has to show us, to her true vitality. Intermodality helps us to leave for a moment a total, unique and integrated look and encourages us to go in search of what may arise. Before reaching the possibility of crystallizing an experience in art it is important that the possibility of fragmenting arises and intermodality can help us to go in search of this possibility. Dissolving When talking about dissolving in the visual arts we can imagine creating more tenuous colors, causing a stain or image to lose its intensity. It makes me think of delicate and sensitive processes, even in the combination with an external element such as water that gives softness and fluidity to color. Sometimes it is important to reduce the intensity of certain images and to highlight some other lines to create new compositions. Dissolving an image or part of it may have to do with moving it away gently and not showing up in the foreground. It doesn't necessarily mean to eliminate it, but to make some forms not predominate. Playing 5 with multiple planes at the same time, with more focused or more distant elements. It is interesting to discover that what is now diluted is still there but otherwise. New forms of existence for the image appear. Many times even the images can disappear. This possibility makes me think about how in our work with individuals or groups, it is important to change the perspective of the difficulty, to find the possibility that a part of the experience does not take as much importance and rather to encourage other healthier sides to begin to have greater relevance. I think that creating from art gives us the possibility of playing with the different planes and starring in an image. Exploring the idea for example from back and forth, soft and intense, far and near, in the creative process, could be part of this dissolute game. Chorrear The action of chorrear implies greater risk and possibility to meet the uncertain. When you squirt ink with water on a canvas, for example, we don't know what shape the drop of water and paint will go, and even if we pretend to handle it, it will acquire its own path. We are closer to the uncertainty and to the little control over the created product, but at the same time there is an interesting game that has to do with what new images and forms will arrive. In this possibility of squirt and playing with water it can happen that precise lines or drawings acquire new dimensions. It is not easy to create this possibility of risk but it can bring surprises and allow us to travel by unknown places. Chorrear invites us to go through the unknown, to venture as facilitators to give a new brush, a new movement in the encounter. It requires courage and corage, a spirit of adventure, of inviting the new that can occur. In this way we can think for example in proposing to enter into the image by new artistic languages, to leave behind the fact previously and to go a new route. Let the creation in art begin to speak for itself, as the drop on the canvas, that it acquires its own path, that tells us where to continue. To be able to take us with it, to let us carry, to be open to its surprises, attentive to its intensities, shapes, strokes, tones, gestures, sensations, subtleties, etc. Chorrear involves letting go, creating the possibility that things will fall and landing by finding their own unique ways of doing so, without having to control the fall, without being able to anticipate what the process or product created will be like, but rather letting it manifest and find its own channel. Breaking down The break down the art form goes by recognizing something existing that we wish to go unadding, separating into new parts. We want to go in for new routes. Go into the details and look at the image differently. Perhaps in this game of going down, a new composition emerges that makes more sense as a final product. In the dictionary of the Royal Spanish Academy, we find that one of the definitions of the word decompose is " disorder and disrupt. " We cannot pretend to deform if we do not play with the possibility of disorder in order to find possible new orders. In my process through the IPad, I found myself many times with this tendency to disorder and disrupt the images that were being created on the screen. Turn the images around, change color, light, put new possibilities of strokes and color. This was how new and unexpected images were coming away from initial impulses and confronted me with the unexpected. Usually when an image arrives in our work from the expressive arts, it is required to go in and delve into it. To bear in mind the decomposition of an image is to meet the infinite parts that can be detached from it. An image has no time or space, it is possible to disaggregate and look at it from several places. For example, we can only be left with the tone of a song, with the texture of a painting or the intensity of a movement. It is important this look because it allows us not to necessarily go to everything but to one or several elements of the image that could bring us new and important surprises. Reconstituting may have to do with finding new ways and possibilities. Re-creating something, like what my process was in the IPad where I found myself many times in front of the blank screen and with the urge to re-transform what I had already created. Even in this new 6 technology there was a video that showed the whole process from the first stroke and it was amazing to see the multiple forms that had emerged from the beginning to the end product and the multiple paths that had taken an image. Here is a possibility to return to a more integrated image. To be able to rescue from fragmentation or dissolution some forms that we want to continue working with. We could be talking about the rescue of previous images that are turns to take from another moment and with the possibility of creating them differently to turn them into new images. In our work, we tend to keep images, which no longer want to be worked. However, we can rescue them if it is necessary, to look at them again, to bring them back to the meeting, perhaps some of them it is important to attend to now, we can see that it tells us, as it would like to continue being or that of it we would like to deepen. we can extend these concepts to all artistic languages, such as music, movement, poetry, photography, theatre, video, as we shall see later in the therapeutic work done. What emerges from these verbs is a kind look at the deformation. To deform, then, would not be to break the forms immediately, it would involve a process of going finding new forms and identities from the multiple options. The facilitator of the expressive arts should take into account these possibilities in his role as a companion to creative processes, where it is important to give shape to the art and the images that are emerging, seeking in the encounter the arrival of the "vital images" 2. Vitality To be able to understand the Vitality I want to propose that vital is everything that needs to be manifested because is essential in one's life: that which makes us feel connected with us 7 ourselves and with our surroundings, that which resonates and connects with our essence and makes us feel alive and true. In vitality, light and shade coexist. Vitality does not mean trying to ward off pain or human suffering but to incorporate it and make it part of our way of being in the world. In deforming one could be working the marginality of oneself, the shadow, the grotesque, the ugly, the strange and meaningless, the fact of dare to deform necessarily leads to new looks and possibilities. When we are faced with the creation of new forms, the vital is made present. Allow the other to deform their pain, recreate it, play it in various ways, make deformation possible. Approaching this possibility would make us feel more vital beings able to respond, deforming and transforming our reality. However, in order to facilitate an experience that involves deformation, it is important to frame it within a space where the witness or facilitator's gaze exists. Our work has to do with the possibility of containing and helping to shape what can be emerging in an imaginary space. In this encounter, we are witnesses many times of experiences where the deformation is present, feeling for moments that the experience is still chaotic and disintegrated and it is difficult to reach a vital image in the encounter. It is important to be able to stay as facilitators with what does not find its way in this uncertain place of the process, to trust that it is from here that vitality can emerge. If we do not rely on this process of deformation we run the risk of not finding what is important in the other. It is from this possibility even that the facilitator is also becoming deformed in the measure that is helping to find new and vital forms. There are times even where from the game of deformation, nothing interesting and important comes up and we decide to abandon a particular process or product and start a new path. Later on, I will explain how there are some elements that the Expressive Arts facilitator must take into account to deform and find vitality in the meeting. I didn't choose it so but my "Vital" sample coincided with my father's death. I didn't suspend her despite the painful moment she was going through. My images were loaded with deformed beings, but at the same time, there was a lot of play, color and movement. Creative processes permanently dialogue between life and death. What is vital then has to do with the 8 possibility of containing the beautiful and the ugly, the painful and the pleasant. Art can harbor both possibilities, embody duality from an imaginative experience that values the creative act above all. An image can show us suffering but at the same time it can be a vital creation, full of resources and beauty. It can inspire us, lead to other places, give us back the ability to do something, allow us to feel alive and true. Many times it is difficult to trace our own route and we travel on trails that are not necessarily part of our vitality. Sometimes we want to get out of prisons that society imposes on us or that we ourselves accept and the possibility of moving away from these forms becomes almost unthinkable. However, it is necessary to move skin in some moments of life and find an authentic path connected with our desires and our own voice. The vitality is related to this authentic possibility of being in the world and the deformation can help us to reach that desired vitality. We need to find our true forms and for that we must dare to go beyond what is established. A vital image in my creative process was, for example, the encounter with the "osas." The image of the osa comes as a gift bringing me a lot of what my soul needed to know and understand at the time. It was an archetypal image that manifested itself giving meaning and new knowledge to my life experience. I remember asking me, how did the image of a bear, where it had appeared, come up? I have never before thought of this animal as part of my creative interest. It simply came among dissolutions, fragmentations, discompositions and reconstitutions of my images. After finishing my portrait, the feeling of having played with my own deformation was still resonating in me. I wanted to continue with this possibility of deforming in art and I began to amuse myself with the idea of drawing but taking into account this time the possibility of deforming, without having to make necessarily real drawings (by its forms and dimensions). So I started in a book a series of drawings made in pencil and color. I returned to the typical materials that even made me remember school times, but this time there was something different, I could dare to get out of the lines and follow the route of my strokes. From this free game images of beings that had traits of animals and humans at the same time began to emerge. Thus appeared a camel with reptilian skin, women's breasts, snake tongue and king's crown; a whale with female wings and legs; a woman with bird skin in which her body disfigured and became a tree; a man with a starry head (full of stars) which had a tail of snakes, legs of an animal with thin, long claws and hands that touched this starry world. In this game with me " bestiary " as I called it later, came a last being, which was no longer a mixture of animal and man but only animal. He appeared a full of barbed, looked like a porcupine spin by the barbs he carried in his body but he clearly had the face of a bear. I was touched by his tenderness, it was full of these thorns and there were even others that fell from above. Stop wanting to keep drawing from these deformations and start to imagine a different project in which the osas began to emerge. No doubt something unexpected came, I felt it was important to keep talking and finding myself with the osa that had arisen. I didn't know because but the osa presented itself as a vital image that I was crucial to follow. I started drawing the osa in newsprint. At the moment I was drawing my arms I had difficulty doing my hands and I ended up creating a box glove, it was fun to see it with red gloves as fighting and I wrote between the sentences of the same newspaper " fight, woman, fight. " It was a phrase that I got with, I didn't want to give it much meaning and continue in this game of osas and possibilities. A new image emerged of a bear feeding a few chickens, a fixed gaze, the tongue outside, the hands of human being, large breasts dripping as two chickens took from that drip. Behind the bear was another face that kissed a third chick. Later on I made a lot of sense this double image of the osa that appeared in the drawing. One who kissed his chick and another who had claws and took out his tongue. It was like a double image that housed the face of two osas but both shared the same body. One of them kissed his chicken and had a tender look and the other took out the tongue and the claws while feeding these same chicks. The appearance of the osa connected me with my instinct, with the most essential of my being, in 9 where there was a clear motherly image but also the struggle to maintain my own "vital" space to remain. A woman who was revisiting with her ability to give but needed to recreate and inhabit her own spaces. Spaces that, without a doubt, had to come to keep me alive or connected with myself. It's interesting how the image of the first bear was deforming, it was deforming me and I found new stories of myself, essential images that needed to go out and be part of me. I think that our role as professionals of the expressive arts has to do with facilitating in the other the possibility of going to the encounter of these vital images from the arts. The vital could be related to the concepts of " effective reality "or the" third " that Knil7 mentions in the Principles and Practice of Expression Arts Therapy. However I like the idea of a vital image because it has the quality to emerge, as necessary, for the person, a crucial image, that fulfills the function of connecting to the other with its own truth. LEVINE, S, LEVINE, E and KNILL, P. Op.Cit.p. 7 10 11 In my encounter with Vitality from art, I approached the work of the painter Karel Appel that I had the opportunity to see in the exhibition of the Museum of Modern Art in Paris. His paintings of 8 large dimensions, full of color and vitality, touched me deeply. Seeing him in a video, I could witness some creative moments of the painter where you could see his daring to try and paint with utensils, with tubes and even with his own body. There was a lot of action and vitality that passed any kind of rationality, approaching the spontaneous and exploratory gesture. Appel had an experimental, spontaneous and daring look, close to the drawing of children or early art. For Herbert Read, Appel is the most vital painter of our times and 9 exists an inseparable connection between his artistic creation and the flow of vitality. Appel making mention of vitality commented: " The art scene of the Paris of the time is dominated by surrealism and geometric abstraction. All this is scientifically accurate but the main thing is missing, life. My painting is a tube that is like a rocket that describes its own space. I try to do the impossible, possible. What's going to happen I can't know in advance. It's a surprise. Painting like passion, it's a thrill full of truth and sounds a sound of life like the roar coming from the chest of a lion. " (Read 2017: 19) It's this truth-filled emotion mentioned by Karel Appel that we need to get to when we work with the others at a meeting from the Expressions Arts. It is this vital "roar" that we have to dare to look for in the people, groups or communities that we work with. To ignite the creative fire, the possibility of connecting with the images themselves, of going to an authentic and honest place, beyond the "apparent" as Bacon said, to approach ourselves or as James Hillman said We can respond from the heart, to wake him up again to stay breathless in the face of the wonder of the world. When I see the images of Karel Appel it's like immersing me in textures, vivid colors and direct strokes. It conveys to me the sense of being looking at the movement and corporeity of his strokes put on every line. His drawings exaggerate the forms, transcend the known dimensions and resemble the art of children. Deformations appear in the faces, in the eyes, in the mouth. The body is disfigured. It seems that everything is allowed and there is no scribble that cannot be given. Appel makes me feel a lot of freedom and irreverence when it comes to painting. It is this creative freedom full of individualism and away from the stereotypes that should be present in our work if we want to reach the vital. Move away from established patterns and approach spontaneous gestures. Working with the body and our senses, being a bit irreverent and daring could bring us closer to this possibility. From music for example, you could imagine a spontaneous creation away from well-known melodies or previously stipulated notes and bring us closer to a sensory game where the music that is emerging is a response to the presence of our body and the impulses that come from it. Moving away from having to come up with something "pretty" musically speaking, turn away from the conception of a traditional aesthetic in art and follow our own creative route. The music could then be played with new and unimaginable instruments, the voice could be used in a wide range of possibilities and the encounters with the sound would be tinged with the possibility of play and freedom as it did Appel. In poetry we can also imagine being able to move away from conventional structures and use the word as a spontaneous stroke in which it acquires even new meanings. Mix words, create new words, deform and blur the word to go for the encounter of a poetic word of its own and vital. As an Expressive Arts facilitator I have had many encounters where it has been difficult to enter the arts. Even some said " but I don't paint, "" I've never made music, poetry, dance. " If we think of vitality from art, we can all join the possibility of creating. Creativity is inherent to the human being, to use our body in a dance, it has to do with awareness of the presence of our body as it did Appel when painting. We need to connect with the essential, to move away from stereotypes and schemes that move us away from a creative freedom. To follow our senses and our impulses and be brave to dare to deform everything. Exhibition Karel Appel at the Museum of Modern Art of the Ville de Paris in June 2017. 8 READ, Herbert (2017). Karel Appel, p.20. Paris: Musées. 9 12 3. Deformation and Vitality in the expressive Arts From what I mentioned about my own creative experience, I would like to name a few elements that I was experiencing in making art that helped me to deform and find my vital images, and that I propose as fundamental to allow us to go to the encounter of the deformation and vitality in the expressive Arts, both individually and in groups and communities, as in various clinical, educational, organizational and community contexts. Risk and Chaos The expressive Arts invite us to the risk of entering the arts without knowing what is going to happen. It's about trusting that processes and forms will go finding their place. There is not a single path, there are several possibilities to follow from creation. Entering the route of art means many times diving in uncertain seas, where we do not know the final destination and where chaos can arise. In this alternative space of experience, we must know, as facilitators, to sustain this transitional moment and not try to reach premature ends. Without an attitude of risk and tolerance to chaos there would be no possibility of deforming and finding vital images. The deformation is nourished by the chaos and the attitude of taking risks as facilitators constantly. We must learn to mold together with the other the images that are coming from this knowledge to stay in the uncertain. However, in my practice as an Expressions Arts therapist, I see how sometimes we want to understand before time an image and there isn't an important wait in terms of continuing to play with the shapes and not forms until you get to something that can be important and vital to the person. When we make art we are many times in a chaotic and unstructured terrain. However, we trust that chaos and uncertainty will emerge a new order that will begin to guide us and bring us closer to surprises. Regarding the chaos and the liminal experience Levine tells us that they are necessary in the process of 10 creation. The artist must go through this chaotic state without knowing that it will emerge from him. There is no control or prior knowledge, and for this to happen we must let go of our knowledge. Feelings of resistance and fears of letting go of the control that are given in the creative process can arise here. In this way the artist would be paradoxically confronted with his own death but it is precisely the experience of fragmentation that would be leading him to the possibility of accessing new forms. The possibility of finding vitality would then be rooted with that of living the experience of chaos. Definitely, elements like the bond that is being forged in the encounter is fundamental so that we can travel these uncertain and risky ways. Death and Birth Without a doubt, the deformation in our work as facilitators of expressive Arts has to do with inviting the other, through their creations, to die and be born permanently. Each time we are giving the space for new forms to emerge we are in the new, in the present and looking not only at our past life experiences but in the future as well. From what emerges, the arts bring new knowledge, new sensations, new metaphors and surprises. We are in art creating but many times we also have to start from the void or even the death of an image so that a new possibility arises. The creative act has as a principle to continue creating and giving life to new images and for this we have to know how to stand in the void, the non-form or even the physical disappearance of an image. In my encounter with digital painting I sometimes felt a kind of vertigo in being in a permanent change of forms. I liked to have the possibility to start something but to the few minu-LEVINE, S. LEVINE, E. and KNILL, P. Op.Cit. 10 13 cough making that that I looked at on screen will transform into something else. I wonder what I was encouraged to follow in this meeting between the form and the vacuum permanently, and I think it was the fact of feeling that there was no mistake possible and that at the end of the road I would be left with the image that I would like most. It was about enjoying the process of painting or building an image without thinking about the end result. It was even pleasant and interesting to be able to change course countless times and so quickly. If a line didn't make sense it would just delete it on the screen and go on with another possibility. I feel like this is given in creative processes where art allows you to play, transform, transgress and eventually reach your own vital images. Deformation involves being born and dying several times until you find your own ways. This search can be circular and infinite and there is not necessarily a final moment as in any creative process. Our work has to allow the other to feel that freedom and confidence to enter into the imaginary space and to work with the multiplicity of possibilities. It's about going to find what's not yet named but it's unique, authentic and true. Every gesture given in art can bring us closer, from this freedom, to a place of its own and vital. It is important to have a frame/frame where to move but also to make sense that in art we are in a free field, where everything is allowed and there are no parameters that limit it. Game Our attitude has to be, above all, that of a willing facilitator to play. The game is the one that brings new possibilities and allows you to enter to explore in an imaginary space of experience. Anticipating a result, trying to reach an important image prematurely (to the third one), it takes us away from this possibility of playing, of deforming and finding vitality. It is an invitation to have a circular look, to receive what has no way yet, to receive the images that still do not have a place but are in the process of incubation. Playing has to do with allowing the other to go finding and deforming their forms without value judgments. The facilitator has to rely on the process assuming the unpredictable, always attentive to surprises. As Ellen Levine11 mentions, we need to play with the images so that they maintain their freshness and vitality. This possibility is related to the primary creativity anchored in the body from the the beginning of the life of the human being. Some techniques from the expressive arts can allow us to encounter vivacious images as it would be the dialogue with the image, which has to do with the possibility of playing with it in an imaginative way. The images, then, would be emerging from a transitional space of play and play with them would connect us with their own vitality. The game would then be making it possible to find our vital images, those that are part of ourselves and connect us to who we truly are. The facilitator must create the conditions so that this playful possibility can be given from the imaginative place of experience from which we work. LEVINE, Ellen. (1995). Tending the Fire. Studies in Art, Therapy and Creativity. P. 72. Toronto: Palmerston 11 Press. 14 Eclectic Mirada Deformation and vitality have to do with the existence of multiplicity, with polyphony of images. There is not a single style or way of doing things, there is not a single way to understand an image (like my images that were very diverse but at the same time brought new sensations, feelings and thoughts). We must not reduce the image to a single understanding, we must open up the image to multiple possibilities. We know that from the expressive arts we work with intermodality and this approach helps us to find the various forms that an image can have and allows us to delve into it. The same image can be deformed in search of new looks and possible dialogues. The image is an infinite game of possibilities. Art cannot be reduced to unique meanings, it is important to be attentive to its multiple stories, narratives and desires. Each of these paths will open up new routes to the imagination and bring about the possibility of transforming the experience. This is why the phenomenological gaze of art is at the base of our doing. We place ourselves without interpretations or judgments of value in front of the image. We need rather to dialogue, to deepen, to play from the image itself to understand its multiple dimensions and possible paths. As Mc Niff mentions, the images are never fixed and it is impossible to describe them in their entirety, it has a 12 autonomous life and multiple perspectives. We need, then, to pay attention to this multiplicity of possibilities, leaving these unique truths, to go to the encounter of vitality. In this multiple and diverse process several possibilities emerge, however we must be able to arrive, 12 McNIFF, S. (1998). Arts as Medicine. Creating a Therapy of the Imagination. Boston: Shambhala Publications. p. 105 15 after this search with the eclectic, to an image that can account for the lived and crystallize the experience. Opening and closing are part of our work with the arts and we cannot just stay in the polyphonic encounter of images. Presence When we enter an alternative experience where the arts, the game or the ritual are at the center of the experience, we are immersed in the doing. All the senses anchored in the body are committed and the rational world leaves its protagonist. Making art connects you with the present moment from the senses. It is giving an understanding that arises from the same thing. It embodies another kind of logic and invites us to be present from the body itself. It's the brush over the paper that creates a movement and it's that gesture that brings you a more brushstroke. It is important to stay and immerse ourselves in this sensory and bodily presence. We have to really enter the arts with this presence from all our senses, trusting that the deformation will emerge if we place ourselves in the present moment with the materials, the images and the forms that could go arriving, without pretensions of any kind, only attentive to what is going on in the encounter with the other and its creative process. As Sally Atkins mentions, 13 we enter an alternative space of experience, physically and psychologically, a different state of consciousness than we have from an ordinary reality. In this reality, there is an opening of the heart and mind, and the world becomes more present just as we become more present in relation to the world and ourselves. To be fully present, with oneself, with the other, in the atmosphere that is being woven into the encounter and in the artistic process that is developing is part of what we have to take into account. Likewise, it is important to develop an opening without value judgments, with a genuine and curious interest in what is happening. All of this will facilitate the possibility of creating a safe environment where the other can afford to deform his images and find vitality in the process. Distancing Art is always located in the space of the imaginary, of the creative and, from there, it becomes easier to access the possibility of deforming the forms. Pain and fragmentation may be present, but the possibilities and resources that arise from the arts help to continue to play with the forms. The imaginary processes like the game, the art and the ritual create a distance, which allow to become deformed without as much fear as it would be the fact of being in the same literal reality of the traumatic events. When you are immersed in art it is the game or the object of art that is acquiring its own dimensions and begins to have its own life. This life of its own is different from that of the creator, it is an object, a song, a dance, a poem that is outside of one. Perhaps it is easier to continue to deform the image or images that are coming. As Ellen Levine says "the artist/patient is not speaking directly about him himself, but, finding aspects of himself through a mediated process that allows to contain both himself and himself" (Levine 1995: 73). The distancing allows us to separate and externalize, not to adhere but to maintain a connection without fusion. Thus, when we talk about the importance of going in search of the Deformation in the creative processes, it is important to rescue the possibility that gives us the artistic creation in relation to the distancing. A distance that makes it possible to look at art as a third that is emerging, which brings new looks beyond ourselves. ATKINS, Sally and EBERHART, Herbert. (2014). Presence and Process in Expressive Arts Work. PP. 47-65. 13 London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers. 16 Anima mundi Throughout my artistic process I was finding myself also with images of the world. Animals, trees, sea, buildings and the universe were present. I think that, in some way, these images spoke of my own experiences but they also brought a connection beyond my own subjective world, like the ones that brought me stories of caves, of an animal world and new images of a maternity, or the bird man that was part of the cosmos. These animals acquired, for moments, human traits and ended up being deformations of both the human and the animal, and allowed me to leave the strictly human to approach new dimensions or other possible realities that went beyond myself. Archetypal images, which connected me with a universality, with our relationship with the world. An open look at the interconnectedness of things, where we can dialogue, feel and respond to the world we form part of as human beings. As James Hillman puts it, there is a 14-nar retor to the psychic depths of the world. Our psyche, includes the world around us and all the things that belong to this world have a soul, which we must attend to. The anima mundi is a world of powers, archetypes and principles that transcend things. This soul of things encourages us as well and we must connect to it. My images brought me the possibility to reconnect with that reality of the outside allowing me to dialogue with it and integrate it myself. The deformation, in a creative space from the expressive arts, can lead us to recover vital images that are related to something beyond ourselves. The possibility of deforming allows us to move away from an egocentric vision and open our gaze to the world outside. I want to tell, by way of examples, as these exposed principles, they were part of the therapeutic work with Daniel and Julio in which the Deformation and the Vitality, were especially present. I will make a brief introduction of our work as Expressive Arts Facilitators and then go on to explain what these meetings were. as facilitators of expressive arts we use the Arts in their different manifestations to the center of the therapeutic experience. The word is present from the beginning of the encounter when it comes to listening, for example, to the reason why the use of language is sought or at any moment in the encounter where the use of language is required. However our methodology has to do with bringing the person or group to an imaginary reality, a space of creation, play or ritual, where we move away for a moment of our "literal reality", "we decentralize" our problem or reality, trusting in the power that the arts have to bring new and amazing experiences, emotions, sensations and thoughts. The facilitator is an expert in bringing the person into this alternative space of experience. The aesthetic look guides our work when we are in this imaginary space and we understand this aesthetic as the possibility of going to the encounter with that which moves us. Go to the meeting of what in this text I am calling our "Vital images". HILLMAN, J. (1999). The Thought of the Heart. Anima Mundi: the return from the soul to the world.P. 17 The encounter with a vital voice Daniel brings in the first sessions the difficulty to be able to express himself and to be the same as it is not allowed to speak of his feelings or thoughts with his family and friends. This theme was recurring through multiple accounts that brought to therapy, in which he felt helpless in the face of comments from others without being able to communicate what he felt or thought. Daniel tells me that his family is very large and that they are quite outgoing but that he, instead, is not communicating much. Sometimes they bothered him not to talk and he felt increasingly inhibited. Throughout some sessions I suggest you enter art, with the possibility of playing with your voice and having the piano as a playmate. First I propose that you walk by becoming aware of your breathing and your pulse. The hands in your heart bring you closer to this listening to your body and connect it quickly with a personal rhythm. From there, I tell him to try to use the piano respecting that pulse that had emerged. It was important to tell him that he didn't necessarily have to touch something, but simply play with the possibilities the piano could give him. I tried just to open the possibility of play and encounter with your own resources and to move away from a serious image of the piano or to touch it. Then the first sounds emerge from the piano, I try to make them as well, reflecting what I have been hearing. Then, I invite him to stand in front of the piano as I play this set of sounds and say: "what if we improvise with your voice?" Again I am aware of my body attitude and my gestures when I tell them, trying to take away weight at this moment and rather entering the possibility of being on the pitch, the kind deformation and the encounter with the possibilities. I remember him too: "it's just a game." We start this way, to bring the possibility of Daniel's voice to come. The first sounds, still shy, arrive with a low volume and repeating themselves as a mantra over and over again. At the moment, I want to play with that first intention of voice that, in my aesthetic view of the sound, was low and not very defined. I then feel the urge to deform something, to exaggerate something, to stretch the possibilities. Perhaps 18 this way Daniel can play more with his own voice and enter the uncertain with me, to the chaotic and unexpected, perhaps it is the gateway to a true improvisation where Daniel can be in touch with a voice of his own and vital. That's when I took one of those sounds made by Daniel, modified it by taking it in the mood and appeared a rare, uncommon, weird, finally funny sound, that made him laugh. It emerged in Daniel the desire to also play with these possibilities, to enter into the terrain of uncertainty without knowing where we were going but with the necessary enjoyment to continue creating. We play with our voices on the piano, in different ways, entering a placid game of two. Finally, standing in front, without the piano among us, we do a dialogue only with our voices and the sounds that begin to emerge from them. It was like being conversing in foreign languages, he said "something" in sounds and I answered "something" in sounds, his voice was acquiring new tones, his body doing and creating according to these invented dialogues. Laughter was part of the encounter, we laughed at the strange sounds and the moments when it seemed like we really knew what we were talking about despite being an invented language. When we finish playing in this imaginary reality, Daniel only thanks me and tells me that he has felt very good. I also told him I had loved playing with him. That day the session was over and, despite not having been able to talk about the experience, I felt that the experience had been extremely enriching. In another session, Daniel has the urge to take photos with the digital camera to his face. There was a lot of enjoyment in the capture of these photos, playing for moments with the speed of the shot and the color that was put to her when editing it. Within all of these photos made, one who liked him more emerged. It was a disfigured image, moved, that altered the original forms. I suggest to Daniel that he can continue to play with the found shapes, even redrawing on the printed photo. Finally, a picture full of colors, nuances and new forms emerged. Daniel is surprised by the large number of colors and mixtures on his face, he mentions that there is a "chaos of colors." This phrase was the beginning of a reflection on himself that led him to talk about his more chaotic sides but, at the same time, the sensation of finding beauty from there. We saw together the multiple dimensions and movements that were in the created face, the various nuances and expressions. We would approach the image on different sides, it was she who allowed Daniel to meet with new looks of his face. Daniel found a "vital" image that brought him new sensations and understandings. This encounter with Daniel reminds me that when we take people or groups into an imaginary space we move away from the literal reality. In the words of Paolo Knil15, we are decentralized to find in art the unexpected. We hope that in this departure we will be paradoxically approaching new possibilities. If we have managed to decentralize and immerse ourselves in art, we will find amazement in the process and the product created. If we are faithful to the images that are coming from the game with the deformation, new sensations, thoughts and emotions will arrive "vital" as Daniel did with the creation of his face, which then led him to look at new dimensions of it. Having entered into the possibility of deforming, creating new options in art, playing with the new that appeared, Daniel was finding new routes in his life. Throughout this process, Daniel was expanding the look he had of himself, made important and authentic decisions about his profession, and built healthier bonds, where he could make his own voice heard. The deformation of fear in Julio Julio is 20 years old, he is starting to study theatre and he likes the idea of being an actor. However it is not easy to study for some fears that end up even paralyzing it. He tells me in the first few sessions how come to him some repetitive thoughts that make him feel he won't be able to perform well. "when I'm for going out to do my performance comes a voice that tells me don't do it, you're going to get it wrong, nothing you do will work out." This voice was presented in different ways in the life of Julio, but in the performance it became more evident. This kind of thoughts made in July that he was demotivating power es15Levine, S; Levine E and Knill, P. Op.Cit PP.75-168 19 tudiar theater and generated feelings of rage against him for not being able to achieve his professional goals. During these first sessions I was observing in his speech how he moved his arms and hands when talking about "the voice that was getting to his head and he wouldn't leave it." His hands were rising up his body when he spoke of this voice, like teaching me that it was placed above him. I followed these movements of his arms and hands as I listened to him and it is from here that I begin to imagine the possibility of proposing to July to explore with this first image of his hands. The truth had nothing in mind but this first sensation or desire for him. He knew that he had to come out of a repetitive discourse in which "there was nothing to do" or where the paralysis was present. How do you make Julio able to deform this fear, dare you to play with him? How to connect to Julio with vital images that help him out of a feeling of failure and impossibility? The image of Julio's hands as he spoke was the beginning of this possibility. I made him notice the movement that they had had their hands on telling me their personal story. As I showed these movements with my hands, I was clearly feeling that they were two beings inhabiting their discourse. He recognizes this by seeing it reflected in my hands and telling me: " There's a chiquito character, scared, scared, looking up and another who's huge, black, a monster who wants to scare him. " These two characters had appeared in the encounter and it was evident to me that we had to go to meet them from the art and the game. I was given the impression that this " " It was pretty close to what we had been talking about from their own fears and I wanted to achieve some distance (Distancing) that would allow Julio to be able to become deformed. So I propose to create these two beings in the first place. July wanted to make them with plastelina and it was shaping them. Suddenly he tells me that the material did not allow him to do what he had imagined. I propose to look for a new route and finally in the making and exploring with various materials, discover the possibility of simply using the paper (because of the malleability that allowed it to achieve) and gradually build each part of these beings (arms, feet, trunk, head) and joining them together. After several encounters where we were shaping these characters, one of them, the big and black, liked him a lot. He was surprised by the face of " It was all black and I had even made it a layer of black cloth. It was clear that this being had taken on much more life than the other one who had not spent so much time and then it was how we decided to leave on the way the possibility of continuing to work with both characters to attend only to one of them (I want to remember here the element of Death and birth that I propose as necessary when taking into account the deformation in the process). With the arrival of this character at the center of the meeting, Julio begins to play with the possibility of giving him life. He makes him fly out of the window, he puts voices (serious, mysterious and strong), he laughs at times with him and I'm feeling how the encounter with this doll becomes more and more pleasant. For moments I feel tenderness to watch him play as a kid. I no longer know if I'm in front of a teenager or someone minor, I enter this game with him and the being created where I leave my ideas behind. The risk, the chaos, my body presence and the game were very much present in these next encounters. He helped him to follow him in shaping this desire of him to make stories and scenes with the doll. We used the digital camera to take pictures of these moments and sometimes it seemed as if we were creating a film, made of different takes, where the main protagonist was this being that he had no name yet. We take many photos of the doll, sitting, standing, playing on the piano, falling through the window, hanging from the pita of the office curtain, etc. The moments of laughter came because there were very shooting scenes in which to act the doll screaming, being so bad that Julio ended up wanting to laugh at the sadism and the cruelty of this one. The exaggeration of the character's wickedness was all the time present and I encouraged him to continue playing with these possibilities until a moment arose where Julio avented the doll so strongly on the floor (perhaps thinking about what was invensible) that ended, the blow, breaking his leg to the doll. The moment of play stopped. July showed great concern about trying to repair the fact and placing the broken leg again. It wasn't easy to stick my leg back because it was 20 ending up watching as if it was patched. Finally he decides to leave it like that, with a single leg, a so much underdog and lame. Then he tells me with a muted voice: " It gives me pity, it's not so strong anymore " I look at it respecting and validating its penalty, we stay silent for a moment, like honoring something, I came the feeling of being in front of something that had disappeared or had become something different and it had to contain that feeling. We had gone from the game to sadness and it was important to stay honoring for a moment that emotion. I didn't want to still point out something that might have to do with his personal history. He felt that he was still in the terrain of art and deformation. He felt that the being had not disappeared, he was in front of us and still had an important presence. I did notice it to Julio and it was there when he decided to catch it between his arms again. I was moved to see the appearance of an image we could call " vital " because of how important it was for him. It was the image of a parent carrying a child. There was a lot of tenderness and finesse in this encounter. July begins to speak to the doll and call it by name (it was the first moment I heard the name of his being) : " Negrito, I'm not afraid of you anymore, you're not as strong as you look .... " He felt there was at the time a new way to relate to this character. He was no longer a violent, unbridled, griton, brusque, downpour but someone tender, a weak and vulnerable. A being who limped and couldn't walk well, had an impediment, couldn't everything. The being was acquiring new dimensions. July asks me if we could see the photos we captured from the game process with Negrito. We started to see these images together and we were remembering, as when one sees a photo album, what lived in the encounter. The idea came up in July to print some of these images and later I want to make a comic book using these photos and writing texts that will accompany these scenes. I found it was a good way to go crystallizing the lived experience and all those images that could have arisen from the initial fragmentation of the game with hands. This intense process of creation ended up finding a path that contained and crystallized it. The word was also present converted first into comics within the comic book. The story told how this powerful being had been losing its strength. A being who looked like a super hero with invincible qualities was transforming into a flesh and bone being, even capable of feeling a lot of fear. In this course we had some moments where we reap the lived experience and connect it with its own experience. In one of these encounters, almost at the end of this experience with the comic, Julio tells me: "I have played so much with this being that I am no longer afraid of him." I thought I was invincible, but now I see it real, like I've lost its strength. " The following week he invited me to the work where he was going to perform. I was very happy to be able to do it. The fear for moments was coming but now he felt that he had more resources and possibilities in front of this voice that no longer left him paralyzed. We have seen how the possibility of finding Vitality is intimately related to the need to Deform in creative processes. We are all able to find our deformations from a sure meeting that puts at the base of our work not only the art to the center of the experience but also the principles mentioned above as the game, the eclectic look, the chaos and the risk, the presence, the distancing and the anima mundi. Likewise, allowing the other to go in search of their own "fragmentations," "dissolutions," "discompositions," "reconstitutions" from their own images, is important. It is from here that one can meet his own "vital images", leading us to feel connected to ourselves, the others and the world we inhabit. 21 Bibliography ATKINS, Sally and EBERHART, Herbert. (2014). Presence and Process in Expressive Arts Work. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers. GILLES DELEUZE (1996). Francis Bacon. Logique de la sensation. Ed. Dand the Difference. HILLMAN, J. (1999). The Thought of the Heart. Anima Mundi: the return of the soul to the world. Madrid: Siruela. Karel Appel (2017). Paris: Paris Musées LEVIEN, E. (1995). Tending the Fire. Studies in Art, Therapy and Creativity. Toronto: Palmerston Press. LEVINE, Stephen, LEVINE, Ellen and KNILL, Paolo. (2005). Principles and Practice of Expressive Arts Therapy: Toward a therapeutic Aesthetics. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers. McNIFF, S. (1998). Arts as Medicine. Creating a Therapy of the Imagination. Boston: Shambhala Publications. 22 Annexes Wild Exodus Odette Velez here I am lost Walking among the dead push me excuse me, permission, I need to pass I am still my bones my hands in this psychedelic and amorphous city dump them in epidemic fulminant way between wires tangled up on cement here I play live drawing between vertigo and voragine every one of my pores has become heard and I am deaf skeleton without skin is my being better to try again under the sea without bodies just mismanosgritanyabasta bodies maybe I will have to leave them in this apocalypse Under the fish continue to swim sail on the asphalt is more difficult the buildings are not easy to open perhaps it would be better to test underneath in this citadino settlement we have grown barbs new heads 23 my hincan hairs are stretched hands of the subsoil in a terrifying will to follow stunned trapped survivors of this despovorous city will we come back? hartos to another place I will flee to the empty cosmic vacuum I have to escape in a thousand pieces of the onespathosstars where is the sea that I do not find? others look for their hills rain celeste days that are nights the lime reproduces raudely nohayspace cell-mutation-cell mutation comes dropping a tree will we remember how to swim in this intoxicated noise? Maybe it's time to have a little bit of a blur I squirt in a thousand colors I'm still unpacked retozo I look inside there is my house I can stay and feed my chicks ("fight, woman, fight") swim or die in the stridency the silence begins to emerge we are alive we continue swimming 24 Text of the curator on the exhibition "Vital" The images of Judith Alalu are a reflection and an exercise in the creative imagination. They paint eclectic visions from a vital children's gaze, which plays freely and bursts into colors. From the dissolution and reconstitution of forms on the digital screen, it gives light to possible and different worlds. Naive art from the iPad. The topographies of Alalu's imagination are placid underwater scenarios in soft pastel colors, fish and cube towns and isomorphic triangles; or hallucinated spaces of vibrant colors, cosmic and urban, crossed from bones and letters, solid buildings and floating hands. Birds and sharks, human and animal hybrids, bodies made of meteorites and doodles are the inhabitants of these new worlds. Through original images worked in the digital media, Alalu conceives an art of deformation, a form of creative therapy. Time and again challenge these paintings the norms, expectations and schemes imposed. "Through my paintings," the artist confesses, " I feel that I make bridges between that deviant and gray city and the awakening to nature, to the-to spirituality, to spirituality. It's a way to connect with our authentic self. "