Reflections on a Fragment (English version)

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Uwe Herrmann


As a child, I felt determined to become an archaeologist – someone digging up hidden, often fractured, sometimes beautiful things that act like lenses. Things that help us to look at and better understand the past. I must have been about eight years old when I recovered a fragment of a putto head from a dilapidated, overgrown drywall in my street. It was missing its upper part, the stone split across the eye line (fig. 1). Though searching, the head’s missing part, including most of the eye section, stayed lost. I remember feeling compelled to take it, ‘rescue’ it from oblivion, to give it dignity and a home. And I remember my strong wish to keep looking at it.

Five decades later, I must admit to my younger self that I did not become an archaeologist, but an art psychotherapist. As a profession, it may have much in common with archaeology. Holding mental and emotional fragmentation, helping splinters of memories - or what is thought of as memories – to surface and to transform through the making of art is archaeology of sorts.

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