On creating space, taking a place
It all depends on our interpretation! What are we going to pass by, and where are we going to sit? In principle, our social structures force nothing upon us, yet, to put it another way, they force everything upon us! Much of what is tossed in front of our eyes could safely be ignored. We don’t have to look at all the advertisments around the city; we need not let ourselves be persuaded to make a purchase. However, it is possible that we occasionally become irritated by their sheer abundance, as by an all too colourful and over-laden wallpaper pattern. Today, that oppressive feeling produced by the huge surge of visual ‚bait’ aimed in our direction is accepted as a fact. We speak of the facts that surround us, and there are lots of them – technical things, stone things, natural things, etc. How we judge them is our own personal affair. Judging these impressions is also what we are concerned with here, and it is from this that sculptural activity finally emerges as a socio-cultural interpretation.
Allow me to try and construct a few thoughts: Each one of us works from an inner need to find a mode of expression, to ‚clear’ a space for his or her creations, and this can be linked with the feeling of having found a kind of confirmation of one’s being. Surely there is nothing more wonderful than to be able to say: I made that myself! As for its use, that is quite unimportant. In fact, its use seems to be a problem for another planet! Yet the work ought nevertheless provide the question of being, the question of one’s personal existence, with a stamp of justification, the justification of being!
I hold courses under the general heading „Sculptural Ontology“. Ontology is a 17th century term which attempted to reply to those questions about the essence of being. I have placed the word sculptural before it, my intention being to emphasise the extent to which the questions about being are – today – nolonger determined just by a concept of nature , but by constructions based on interpretation. I would like to forge a link with creative action and question not only the form sculptural activity takes, but also the justification of being, which, as a social positioning, undergoes changes and not only opens up new possibilities of interpretation for us, but also offers new versions of being.
We are looking for places, and what we perhaps discover – in the course of time – are interspaces. We may even succeed in discovering new places that do not yet exist. Virtual places, interstices, phenomena in realities that can no longer be interpreted in a linear fashion. We consider how we might ‚take a place’ in them. A veritable act of conquest! We set ourselves down somewhere, take possession of the place as we think fit, and claim entitlement. But I only wanted to refer to that in passing. Furthermore. I would also like to distance myself from any purely geographical occupation of place. What I have in mind is more a treasure-trove site made up of various places, where virtual thinking is accepted, ‚in virtu’, so to speak. This means taking up and re-defining the question of essence and its place. It is important to discover our own ‚playgrounds’, where we can enter upon new research, on the reality of spaces, on time, and on our self-made interpretations.
Our course deals first of all with articulating our intentions as a purely personal confirmation, which we want to strengthen, on the basis of which we dare to make a hypothetical claim, and whose manifestations we want to present to the public for discussion.
So far I have made no mention of art … intentionally. I believe we should first free ourselves from the idea of producing art. We have first to learn to work three-dimensionally. We have first to accustom ourselves to the changes brought in threedimensional perception by new spatial realities. I would like to circumvent this term ‚art’ for another while, so as to avoid becoming submerged in the ‚pea-soup’ of art’s self-repetitive attempts at justification – which only allow us to operate from an ‚out of the way’ position. We will have an opportunity to observe, to judge, and to do. We will even have an opportunity to observe our very thinking, and to invent and re-define it as metaphor. Whether we have read lots of serious tomes or watched mainly B-movies and video clips, or whether we are preoccupied with the mergence of eco-, new age- or techno-cultures, is of very little relevance. What am I trying to say? Am I just shifting problems to other levels? Perhaps. Or can my words have the effect of scratching at certain encrusted thought structures? I don’t know. In the course of our investigations into ‚essence’, both our essence and that of our constructs, we can develop the most diverse of ideas. Let me put it this way: We are concerned with the idea of constructed interpretations. These constructs can of course be objets d’art. But they can also be understood as action in time. They might also be called robots. In the moral sense, the question of the justification of being arises not only for us, the doers. It also has to be put to the things we create. Perhaps this is the way to open a new dialogue, free of familiar categories. We will then be in a position to accept art as our particular matter of course.