Consumerism may not be as passive as generally thought. De Certeau suggests that consumers select mediated codes and reuse them for their own purposes, often subverting those intended by the producers: a constant weaving and re-weaving of the experience of every day-life; a creative reinvention of an already given language to fit the dimensions and meanings of an individual’s own life world. (Jean Fisher, 2002)
What you see is what you are. (Simona Denicolai & Ivo Provoost)
Simona Denicolai & Ivo Provoost engage theirselves in the complexicity of live with the flair and pleasure of mild subversion. They cope with the characteristic instability and uncertainity of a certain social situation. Even though their intentions are clear – to break open the rusted conventions of every day-life -, the exact product of their interventions isn’t fixed as such. With a contagiously delight they jump between a fragile state of active excitement and lived through scepticism towards the context where their actions take form.
[The] constant weaving and re-weaving of the experience of every day-life [and the] creative reinvention of an already given language – see Jean Fisher above – i??s meant to fit the dimensions and meanings of an individual’s own life world.?? This means that the spectator engages in an intimate and subjective form of recognition – What you see is what you are. The emancipation and break-even of subjective visions opens the field for a shifting and deregulated sort of bartering reality. This results in a mutual play where, for each one included, passivity is to the only way to make a loss.
As he was engaged in cleaning himself up (after suffering a chronic case of diarrhea), he happened to look in the water and much to his surprise he saw many succulent plums. After surveying them very carefully, he dived into the water to get some. But only small stones did he bring back in his hands. Again he dived into the water. But this time he knocked himself unconscious against a rock at the bottom. After a while he floated up and gradually came to. He was lying on the water, flat on his back and, as he opened his eyes, there on the top of the bank he saw many plums. It was then that he realized that what he had seen in the water was only a reflection. ‘Well,’ he says to himself, ‘and what a grand piece of foolishness that was! Had I recognized this before I might have saved myself a great deal of pain. (Paul Radin, The Trickster: A Study in American Indian Mythology, New York, Schocken Books, 1972, p. 28.)