with artist DRITON SELMANI
I’m writing this at 11,589 meters above the earth, to explain. Maybe there’s no need, but I’ve always been skeptical, curious, insatiable. Maybe you are too. But it’s difficult to say why: a magazine of all things, and digital! In fact, we’re starting this, Stillpoint Magazine, partly to make room in the midst of all this static for the things in each of us that can’t be explained. I won’t say that ‘unexplainable’ is the beginning and end of this question we can’t escape: What is behind the I? If we thought so, then there’d be no magazine, and yet here we are. Here we are, flipping ‘psychology magazine’ and ‘psychoanalytic journal’ and ‘self help’ on their heads like our lives depend on it, like we’ll turn it all into the best basement show of our lives, while around us the atmosphere riots, but we hold steady.
What is behind the I? That’s the heart of the matter, through it all—through you, and me, through all of us. Not to get too heavy on you. Still, we’re starting Stillpoint Magazine from that question, and we’re starting it for ourselves, for all we’ve needed to read and look at, but couldn’t find anywhere, at least not in magazines, at least not in digital. A magazine where ideas aren’t dead on arrival, where the visual artwork hits you in your memories or dreams or desires, where there’s no shame in asking: ‘No seriously, why am I required to suffer through this? And what does it matter, anyway?’ We’re looking for right-and-wrong answers to those ancient questions: in stories that live through us, in lyrics that linger, in argument that makes us say ‘Yeah. I feel you.’ and in images that blur the line between dreams and waking life, conjuring the kind of impossible madness and magic that make us believe we can hold two watermelons at once, and actually try it. Of course there has to be fashion—second skin, armor, plumage that hides, and shields, and reveals us.
If we’re making Stillpoint Magazine for ourselves, then more than anything, we’re making it for you. We’re making it for you just exactly as you are right this very second, and through it all: from the moment you wake and drag yourself into another day, until you finally fall asleep in exhausted, unconscious bliss. And in-between too, through each gorgeous, difficult minute: through the labor and duty, the bills and gasoline, the debts, the news, the screens, the screens, the children.
Knowing us, we’re probably making it for our lovers first: ghosts, or better halves, or the ones we’ve lost and can’t forget. But we’re making it for our fathers too, for our mothers, and for theirs. Yes really, all are welcome here: our sisters, our brothers, our children. We’re making it for all of our friends including those we haven’t made yet, for the strangers with whom we’ve shared a knowing or questioning glance. We’re making it for our complicated bosses and our subversive colleagues, we’re making it for the laborers, writers, artists, designers and scholars we’re obsessed with. And we’re making it for the therapists and analysts we need, even if we resist. We’re making it especially for them, so that the alchemy they create with an Other in quiet, closed rooms seeps out, and touches the rest of us. Because we know that each one of us, and them, and you, are simply working endlessly, and in myriad ways, to try and understand that sublime, ferocious mystery:
Just what is behind the I?
Of course, for each of us, the replies can only be whispered, or glimpsed, in fleeting moments that never appear quite the same way twice. Which is why Stillpoint Magazine, in Issue 001: FANTASY and beyond, is rife with juxtaposition, synchrony, and experiment. I’ll cool it with the lists. But what I’m trying to tell you is, it’s been a wild ride already, a group of fantasies born in the magical hotel rooms of our minds, running reckless through our loves, our labor, and our lives, fantasies faster than we are, making us unrecognizable to our old selves, fantasies that, in a moment, we’ll pass along to you.
Welcome to Stillpoint Magazine. We hope you like it. Because this is just the beginning.
ANNE MARIE SPIDAHL editor-in-chief
Anne Marie Spidahl is Editor-in-Chief of Stillpoint Magazine, Creative Director of Stillpoint Engage and the PrairieCare Institute’s Center for Applied Psychoanalysis, the mother of two, a literary critic, and the author of the novel Nothing.
DRITON SELMANI artist
Driton Selmani lives and works in Prishtina and Doganaj. He studied at the AAB University in Prishtina and MA Fine Arts at The Arts University Bournemouth UK.
Selmani approaches the idea of perceived reality by deconstructing formations of social, political and cultural topics that have been embodied around him. At a young age, he was told to worship a country that no longer existed, which caused him to form a basis of scepticism towards any supposedly given reality. He later used this as a beneficial tool to reconstruct his beliefs into visual artefacts. In 1999, old simulacra have been replaced by new simulacra; the ornaments of a previous space have been refurbished in order to unfold with new meanings but also new uncertainties. Selmani confronts himself as a spectator of this “on-going event”, but rather positions himself as an actor, enacting his performances based on his personal histories, beliefs and doubts.