THERE IS ALWAYS A BLUE SKY
2019
Photogravure
THERE IS ALWAYS A BLUE SKY
2019
Photogravure
Last summer when the artist was tiding up in the house of her deceased mother, she came across two books [1] about the universe. When she turned over the pages, her eyes got caught by some of the beautiful images of the Milky Way, the luminous masses of air, the meteorites and the fascinating infinite universe. By looking at the pictures existential thoughts and questions came up. The artist got in touch with the mortality of the human: we are on the physical earth for quite a short time compared to the time of the universe. But where are we coming from and where do we go? Are we a part of an endless movement? Many generations have been living before us and in some ways, as the artist explain it, it feels like we are related because we are living in the same nature on the same earth.

The universe has always evoked wonder both in a scientific and in an existential way. As human beings we can’t really understand or grasp the dimensions in time and space. From a phenomenological perspective the philosopher Merleau Ponty [2] explains the feeling of living in a “relationship” with our ancestors and the nature like this: “Intellectualism is the recognition of this immanent unity of the things: the constituent moments of the thing are not simply contingently contiguous to one another; they are internally, intentionally, or meaningfully related to one another.” [3] Ponty is talking into a dualism, where on one hand he describes that everything is connected in unity and on the other hand he elsewhere describes that a thing has its own essence. His point is that we are not only living in casual relationship, but in a meaningful way we are completely integrated into an immanent unity.

Ponty means that the essence of the “thing” is speaking “the very voice... [the] ultimate truth” [4]. Because of the unity we can, on the pre-verbal level through our senses, “listen” to this voice and connect to the essence and we will get a feeling of meaning. Ponty describes that we can receive small snapshots of the essence, when we let ourselves be present and dwell on in the moment. Our perception and senses are the highway to philosophical reflection and meaningfulness in life.

In the working process the photographs have undergone a transformation from factual images in a scientific book to sensuous works of art. The images are scanned, enlarged and split into three channels (yellow, red and blue), then transferred onto polymer plates and reassembled again as photo etching prints. In a slow process by hand the inks are pressed into the paper and merge with the fibers. The prints contain traces of the artist’s actions, choices and fingerprints – rose from the personal story and now appear as unique artworks.

Ponty describes that this merging process is also what happens between the prints and the viewer: in a slow movement, through our senses, we perceive the essence of the prints. The prints appear in their ‘allness’, they evoke phenomenological wonder and let us to get in touch with the big common questions and what is deeply existential meaningful.


[1]1) Man probes universe (1964) by Colin A. Ronan. 2) Our wondrous world (1952) by various scientists and institutes
[2] French philosopher Maurice Merleau Ponty (1908-1961)
[3] Maurice Merleau Ponty (1964): The Visible and The Invisible, p. xli. Northwestern University Press
[4] Maurice Merleau Ponty (1964): The Visible and The Invisible, p. xxix. Northwestern University Press

Tekst:
Mette Køhlert, Cand.mag i Anvendt Filosofi
ReConnect

Thanks to:
Kulturwerk des bbk Berlin
Højbjerg Fotografiske Værksted
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