Saturday, 11 May 2013
Stop searching for meaning
As much as I find irritating to be asked the question: what do your tattoos mean? I find it fair, and interesting. In which ever way, the lack of meaning and the meaningfulness is equally interesting for me.
In a very 'purist' reading of the purpose of tattoos one could say they define us, they define out identity, who we are, or who we choose to be for all that matter.
However people change, people change all the time, they grow old, they grow out of their believes, they re-invent themselves. And tattoos have for centuries being part of rituals to 'mark' those reinventions, but also have being mementoes of what one once was, because people also needs to remember who they were and are no longer.
The permanency of these definitions can be heavy enough to put people off tattoos altogether, or it can also become heavy after sometime or event, so much that covering them up becomes a need. There are those who are not even that concern on what the next image would be as long as it covers up the old one.
Is it possible to choose an image that will always stay true to who we are?
If this was the closest example to what I'm trying to say here, what would be my 'pure' tattoo? Mara? Woman? Human? all three? surely there is thousands of those, and that would not help me answer the question: Who am I? I guess I would need to be more specific. Full name, Gender, Race, Ethnic group, day and time of Birth, place of Birth, a picture of my face? at what age? would I then need to update it every couple of years then?... oh dear.. sounds like my passport. And it will still not answer the question. It would be just a list of words and images that don't say who I am, not by themselves, not together. It would mean nothing at all.
Of course this all started as a joke, or more as just wanting to play with my equipment really. And I wanted it to just be that, a bit of a game. No pressure, no stress, no permanent damage done. I did not want to think of 'what to tattoo'. I did it just for fun in a day that promised boredom. Still, because I am who I am, I also find it fun to write a lot of bollocks and over think stuff where there is nothing to think about. Funny enough the result is still the same: there is no meaning.
And these are probably the stupidest and the most meaningful tattoos I have ever done at the same time. They also smelled great.