Artist Blog

Every week an artist whose single image was published by Der Greif is given a platform in which to blog about contemporary photography.

Engagement | Distance

Jul 18, 2016 - Emma Bäcklund

Spinning top Stillness appear motionless not because it isn’t moving but because it is spinning at full speed.. Pendulum The moment in-between, the unspoken void of the pause, the instant around the event, not the event. In every sentence of writing, pauses build up a rhythm and ‘makes sense’ of its melody. The pause is the keystone in any type of rhythm or construction no matter what scale. Nothing is possible to be within a constant intensity but requires the in-between to become graspable, something one can touch upon. The pendulum swings from one side to another, a force of speed and gravity. A state of a thing which embody both intensity and release. It momentarily stops, to swing back. There are four points within this spatial momentum, A and B stretches vertically, C and D stretches horizontally. In endless motion it travels while it never travels at all. Still motion. It is about the relation between two, (twosomeness). If the pendulum only moved within one point it would no longer serve its purpose, it would no longer be a pendulum. Neither A,B,C or D makes sense in solitude, they are not excessive alone but it is the relationship between these points which creates momentum; a flow and rhythm. A suspension, concentration, paradoxically free and limited. Phantasmata Phantasmata. A sudden arrest between two movements contracting with its internal tension. The perfect balance between effort and release. Whoever wants to learn this art, needs to dance through phantasmal; note that phantasmal are a kind of corporeal swiftness that is controlled by the understanding of the measure… This necessitates that at each tempo you appear as if you had seen Medusa’s head, as the poet says; after having performed the movement, you should appear entirely made of stone in that instant and in the next you should put on wings like a falcon moved by hunger, according to the above rule, that is to say, employing measure, memory, manner with measure of ground and air. As in Domenico da Piacenza’s “dancing through phantasma,” the life of images consists neither of simple immobility nor of the subsequent return to motion but of a pause highly charged with tension between the two. -Agamben, Nymphs (Domenico da Piacenza (c. 1400 – c. 1470), was an Italian Renaissance dancing master) The Suspended Ball Alberto Giacometti’s The Suspended Ball (1930) is hanging freely while surrounded by a cage like structure, both imprisoned and free within its own boundaries. The ball inhabits a deep cut within its body, a scar or possibly an opening for breath or for entering. The half moon like form is attached to a base, stagnant while freely stretched to each sides with confidence. These forms are made for each other but can never be fully merged. The sculptures Giacometti produced almost suggests or invites the viewer to physically interact with them, which was unusual at this time in art history. Maybe he aimed to encourage the viewer to complete his own work with their physical presence and desire to touch. To fill a void. What he started to explore within the work of Suspended Ball was perhaps the consequence of his interest in existentialism and the relation man has to space and the Other; the relation one figure have within a limit of space and to other figures. Although belonging to a context, one is bound to his own solitude. The other, as absolute, the other as the desire of becoming complete, of becoming the other. Struggle A struggle does not interest me in itself, but in terms of its technical rhythm between engagement and distance and how it can be percieved for the observer. Further, the proximity to its contrary; intimacy. In this case I emphasise on a passive struggle which sometimes can be a sport, an art form or a game; a situation between two people, players, avatars etc. This subject identifies with what I have mentioned in previous posts. It also relates to what something ‘is’ and what something ‘seem like’. (Visual response). A while ago, I became interested in researching virtual spaces and how one can move through something else extended from the physical body; for instance an avatar. (Miniature Worlds). I realised that the avatars with widest range of gestures can be found in fighting games such as the game of TEKKEN. This led my google searches further into Martial arts and Capoeira. What I became interested in was the slow and focused movement of the performers.. close to an animalistic act. Around this time I thought a lot about the twosomeness I have mentioned previously, something’s opposite being its similarity, how engagement would not be engagement without its distance. I continued to look into sport forms that had never before interested me at all and become curious in the moments of standstill. In Wrestling for instance; the struggle starts to seem like a extended intimate embrace. Extreme stillness occurs, but only for the eye. Nothing is completely still, it only depends on what scale one exists within. What occurs in the wrestlers entangled bodies incorporate extreme tensity, energy, muscle activity and struggle. It happens inside. It is not energy that connects but connectedness that energises - Peter Wilberg