Traces of absence
Process notes III
“In proportion as I have celestial thoughts, is the necessity for me to be out and behold the western sky before sunset these winter days. That is the symbol of the unclouded mind that knows neither winter nor summer. What is your thought like? That is the hue, that the purity, and transparency, and distance from earthly taint of my inmost mind, for whatever we see without is a symbol of something within, and that which is farthest off is the symbol of what is deepest within. The lover of contemplation, accordingly, will gaze much into the sky.”
–Journal, January 17, Thoreau
The invisible is the root of all visibility, yet never visible. When daily experiencing time, we similarly feel both past and future as commensurable infinities. But we have traces and memories of the past, yet no traces of the future. Paintings have an immortalizing and temporizing function at the same time, suggesting it to be both particular and universal at once. The painting crosses the borders between being hidden and displayed, yet also being closed and open at the same time.
When I look at paintings, I experience seeing through parts of a surface that are close, while simultaneously gazing into other parts which are farther off having no surface, and through which I plunge further and ceaselessly into the profundity of space. The painting carries a present that shows me the way into the edge of language, like an expression of infinity always and everywhere. As I continue my process at Edvard Munch’s atelier, the space within becomes similar to a horizon, an infinite dividing line between a place where my mind wanders off and yet a place that is visible as my continuous, productive working space. It is here behind my consciousness of view, a vast, untranslatable language appears and into the steady flow of traces around and within me.