Alexa Dietz

"Middle Ground" reflections

posted on October 29, 2018
Years ago I was thinking about how I was the thread to keeping my parents together. I was attempting to draw them closer (but also just have closure for myself within these assumptions) by collecting soil samples from each of their houses and developing "Middle Ground" - a safe space.

It is difficult to recall exactly, but I think I had started this piece at a time when I wasn't really ready to face the truth: people are inherently selfish. Even when I circled back to the piece and really dedicated myself to it, it's meaning had changed. And then changed again and again... Actually, maybe it was my reasons why. I wanted to dig into and unearth so many feelings at once that I was trying to do it all within one piece. All along the root of its truth was still there. The root is what held it all together, not me.

Another part to this was a video. I never dedicated myself enough to it because I don't really enjoy being meticulous with computer programs. In this, I had both parents carry "Middle Ground," empty, from "their" house and meet in the middle - where I was standing, infinitely spinning the wheel of a moment in time that would always be their reminder of each other - me. Creating me. I had blamed myself for years for not being able to get them back to being together, and yet was at no fault what-so-ever. I was also selfish.
(All these videos were shot at different times. They didn't meet in the middle in real life - they met within a video to help me work through my thoughts. They did create this, after all.)

At my BFA show in 2014, all parts of "Middle Ground" were on display. And both my parents were there, viewing everything that had come together. That was their first time being in eachother's presence in ten years or more, as far as I'm aware. It was magical and beautiful. Resolve. I felt resolve. And I stopped holding my breath.

I thought... all this time of my whole life that I was defining love. Well I was, but now I know what this means for me, to me, and for others. I am no longer trapped between a middle ground of birth and death and the thought of doing so alone. I am living now. And it's my best life.