Traces of absence
”To live means to leave traces” walter benjamin As my process unmasks itself, the moment of an empty space is where I am able to understand the beauty of its existence. These empty spaces are traces of an absence existing obliterated from view, non-visible traces that are within and around us. The movement of a trace is a tender expression of the vulnerability of life as it exists in an ever changing space between construction and dispersal, and presence and absence.
absence is presence. The Munch atelier is an empty space, an empty presence, and Munch´s paintings are removed. The building stands as an empty shell. Like a cast. A monument of the unseen. And as I start occupying the space, a feeling of emptiness resides. melancholy. Surrounded by quietness, a freedom can exist. It is an opening of space, and a tranquility and peace within rests in stillness. I am alone, yet never alone. It is empty, yet never empty. Letting the quietness speak to itself, it leaves traces of a language behind. A visible language within an invisible language. The table with no chair. A transitory space. In-between. A trace is very little, almost nothing.
The painting is to show, but this showing has the aim of letting me see what is not seen and cannot be seen; a language from within. It is a sudden balance between automatic and construed gestures, like a balance between everything and nothing, an inner necessity to a directness of space giving me a sense of belonging. A belonging to a sensitivity to softness and structure, to rigid structures and chaos and chance, to closed and open forms, and to the rythmicality of lines and the feelings of an unbroken movement that flows between me and the painting. “We are like islands in the sea, separate on the surface but connected in the deep.” ― William James
"An art of passage, about reality that has already passed by...and which leaves a spread or spray of traces. Like the pulse of red that stays on the desert horizon for some minutes after the sun has set, or the lemon-colored track of urine in the snow. Art that shadows reality, delicately following in its half-blurred tracks, sketching it from afar." -Susan Sontag, 1981 The empty space of Edvard Munch’s atelier is a reminder of the living paradox of nature as both fleeting and transitory, but also endless and eternal. Exploring the empty space, I find traces of both absence and presence. Traces of paint on the floor and table, small cracks in the wall showing the layers behind, and the echo of stillness of human absence lingering between a natural physical world and an unseen world. As I start painting, an inner dialog begins, and a sense of leaving behind an eternal trace develops, while at the same time knowing the process of painting is a temporal act with a beginning and end.
It is a feeling of processing a connection of an infiniteness of traces, while the painting itself represents an intangible void between myself and the surrounding space.
My process continues. I welcome everyone to my "open studio", works in progress, thursday 31.march. 1600-1800. Edvard Munch Atelier, Jarlsborgveien 14, 0379 Oslo. "Could it think, the heart would stop beating." F.P.