M
M

All is history

In 2012 I noted: ‘On my very last day in Kyoto I sat at the bank of Kamogawa River, with my gaze concentrated on a rock positioned in the middle of it. Nearby, a crane paraded looking for fish, and as the river flowed the stone remained intact. “You cannot enter the same river twice” as Heraclitus concluded, but is time as easy to comprehend as this simple comparison. At that time it seemed to me the stone remained intact as much as the river remained suspended in its own flow. But on the following day, on the plane, I remembered the river, the stone and the crane, and it all seemed a history then, my history.’

The construction of the work is so its elements inform themselves and there is a hidden narrative which is not easy to follow. This arduously penetrable quality is an important aspect of it as in reality the work is using history, its supposed subject, only as an excuse to produce a particular artistic language.

The installation  (neon, stone and video projection) seems to only reaffirm Heraclitus‘ statement but some of its elements (the blue colour of the neon and the fact the water is projected onto the stone) suggest this simple understanding of time and history is but a surface. Further, the subject and antique quality of the prints produced from 100 years old album the artist found in Kyoto seem to only confirm further the exalted statement ‘all is history’. It would all be rather simple if not two works placed the side: a contact print of two negatives stuck together and a slide projection.Here lays a certain contradiction as the blue colour repeated throughout the exhibition (this time through a positive photographic image of an empty blue sky) each time refers to an opposite thing: in the first room to the s u r f a c e  of water and in the second room to the  e s s e n c e  of things: the spirit. This blue is particular to the moment and to the person who sees it (as any colour). It cannot be repeated.

The stone and the river became history because they became my history (it is not a metaphor but an experience which is presented to the audience). History is an experience, and experience is always individual. All the elements of the project are dividing the history into individual, particular experiences: the history of the photographs to which we are not admitted in its entirety, the installation of the first room might be a representation of a history of the artist but in reality, it is the first step into our own history.

In this work, I create something which Ludwig Feuerbach defined as Entwicklungsfähigkeit – a capacity to be developed.  “All is history” constructs a unique visual language “in which what is experienced is language itself”. It is an “experimentum linguae of this kind in which the limits of language are to be found not outside language, in the direction of its referent  [lack of historic data], but in an experience of language as such, in its pure self-reference.“[1]

The work of art is always an experience and as such in can only exist in the present of the moment, art is always now. In other words, all is history, but art is always now.

 

– 2012

 

[1] Agamben, G. (2007) Infancy and history: on the destruction of experience. Verso: London New York

All is history

(2012) neon, 25x75 cm, stone, HD Video

All is history

(2013) photographic slide, projector

All is history

(2015) silver gelatine fibre based prints, dimension variable

All is history

(2015) archival pigment prints, dimensions variable