Etter mørke, lys
Kamilla Langeland - Andrew Amorim - Dag Nordbrenden - Marie Svindt - Per Christian Brown - Simona Barbera - Daria Giwer - Jason Havneraas - Marthe Bleu - Tom Sandberg - Kaja Leijon - Damian Heinisch - Thora Dolven Balke - Christian Tunge - Eva Rosa Hollup - Marius Engh - Linn Pedersen - Knut Åsdam - Stefania Schubeyr - Dag Alveng - Behzad Farazollahi - Monica Flakk - Marius Eriksen - Jo Michael de Figueiredo - Henrik Plenge Jakobsen - Sigmund Skard - Magne Lyngvær - Felix Werbowy - Kåre Kivijärvi - Janne Talstad - Geir Moseid - Kjetil Berge - Espen Gleditsch - Eline Mugaas - Kristian Skylstad - Eirin Støen - Louise Jacobs - Frido Evers
24.03.2017 - 30.04.2017
We went down into the silent garden. Dawn is the time when nothing breathes, the hour of silence. Everything is transfixed, only the light moves.
- Leonora Carrington
Light, the ink of photography, wrapped in taboo. This overwhelming phenomena, the ruler of happiness, anxiety and our subjective apprehension of the world. The subject of light itself can make one cringe, because as a topic it’s too overwhelming, always evoking pretension. Light is the absence of darkness, though darkness is also a form of light, it leads light through its paths of emptiness to where light belongs. Through valleys and vast spaces light travels, it hits the object, and like a boomerang it bounces back in through the lens, onto the celluloid film or the CCD. How or which or what doesn't matter. Light is like a stream moving upriver, directing our attention to what matters. It directs us towards essence. One has to isolate light to make it matter. Oh, light.
There is a light within us. We call it heart, spirit, soul. We keenly feel its presence, though can't completely locate it. Whatever that it is. We're too estranged to the notion that we're more than matter. We’re matter only. Flesh. But matter doesn't matter without light. Without light no matter. We seem to forget this banal fact. We hide from it. Because light might reveal what should not be seen, what should be understood, what matters. There is always a certain shame in what really has a presence in the world. There is no existence without light. We live in the mercy of light. The silent light. No seeds, no humanity, no spirits, no soul nor heart, without light. Still we take it for granted. Galleries, hospitals, schools, they all promote an inhuman light, a fluorescent light. The flat light. All official matter is discussed in artificial circumstances. The cynicism of power grows its seeds from this light, so jaded, so spiritless. When one evokes a spirit, when one digs ones soul, one also limits oneself. When we expand the presence of everything we also falter in noting what’s real, the knowledge which communicates with the essence of being.
We swim in light. We rest in darkness. Light can reveal the ugliness of things. Darkness casts shadows which gives light the potential of underlining the beauty of things. The twilight. The golden hour. The moment when the landscape disappears into the mist of shadow. The hour when night becomes day. How the tingling emotion of this universal habit, sitting with light, holding the hand of this fragile entity which is no entity; light. To get used to it is a sin. But there are no sins. Not from now on. We have turned light into artifice, which light does not accept, not one moment. Light has spirit, projected from the human eye or not. It’s there. To deny this is absurd. Try a fireplace. Try a beach. The photographer needs to harmonize with light. Without light, no photograph. We're getting used to stacking objects and ideas on top of each other, turning art into arguments, clinically evaluating everything. Photography, the closest ally of light, will not accept this. It can't. Photography is dependent on the mercy of light. Light sets the premise for photography, and thus the premise for life, because light is life. In a godless world there’s still light. In a world without human intelligence light. still reigns. How can you explain light? Graphs, numbers, theses, all these might, but not sufficiently. Light retains its mystery. We don't want any supernatural phenomena to interfere with our thought on matter. Therefore we undermine light, we deny light a real presence in our lives, thus we become lifeless. In front our screens of light we linger, yearning for another cultural kick, stopping at traffic lights, watching boxes of light all night, until we drop dead in darkness.
There is a light within us, which brings out the subtle graciousness of all surfaces; skin, asphalt, smoke, mountains, fabric, fantasy, sin, grace, love, the sea. Oh, the sea. The streams of water hits the stream of light. This collision ignites what we are. The sky. Oh, the sky. To talk about light is to talk about love. To talk about photography without mentioning love is cowardice, it's shallow, it's irrelevant. Photography is on its deepest note the fingerprint of light, thus the fingerprint of heart, the footsteps of the all evolving love which surrounds us. Can you deal with that? Can anyone? Our attempt is our ignition key. This love isn’t permanent, this love, we can't hold this passion. We can't hold light. Photography is the closest you'll ever get to holding light, which means love, which means holding your own heart. Have you ever seen a human heart? It looks like a fist wrapped in blood. When matter is revealed for what it is, the answers you'll get might not be comfortable. But they're human, these answers. They need to be revealed. The camera, the pinnacle of human ingenuity, is the typing machine for the writer of light. One can not write light with keyboards, not perfectly. One can not paint light, not really, though the attempt dominated the history of arts until modernism moved into the barren landscape of creativity like a big and black tank. So we've reached the other shore. The continent of photography has been established, replacing the figurative painting, and we realize that our styles has changed, that our speed has changed. We've changed.
Light has not changed. It exists in trillions and trillions of hues, multiplied by billions, and we can only capture a snippet of it, a little fragment. We can force it into a small frame, mount it, show it, sell it. Though when you turn of the lights, in the gallery, the photographs disappear. They don’t reappear like fluorescents on the waves at a tropic beach at night. Light is now encapsulated. Photographs are not solid matter, over time they fade, like memories do inside our mind. All things must fade, crack open, falter, dissolve into nothing. This makes photography a practice of grief, though the highest praise of the small zone of span, which is your life. There is many a moon, many a month, many a moment. Too many. To isolate these moments into drawings of light is what makes photography as sacred as sleep, as dreaming, as longing. Photography is all these. And more still. We don’t paint with light. We write our life with light. There is no way to talk about light. There are no arguments against light. Light evokes no pragmatism. You might fight light. You’ll fail.
You can’t fight light.
Anmeldelse: Vitalt samtidsfotografi (Klassekampen, april 2017)