Aleph / Null
Ontic Residua /
Das Ding An Sich / The Thing In Itself
A uniform line does not give the eyes anything to hold on to, and its depth -even in the act of carving- stays out of reach reduced to nothing but an extension of surface. The line itself is literally overseen.
In Aleph the eyes slide continuously along the uniform surface and perpetually up and down as the direction of the line at the top contradicts the memory of the shape encountered at the bottom, et vice versa. I an attempt to understand their connection, the spectator is locked into a perpetual motion as s/he tries to 'get' the shape, which, despite or because of its simplicity, continuously refuses to give itself up as a passive object. Matter and form are no longer a passive, fixed and thus 'objective' reality 'over there'. Aleph does not 'unfold' in a sequential order of one-feature-following-another in a horizontal kind of reading but instead it perpetually returns on itself - an event standing as if on a vertical axis.
Aleph is the fundamental agent and literal Zero in the system of my thought to which I return over and over again, and against which I compare and measure subsequent works.
The subject does not belong to the world but it is a limit of the world. L.W.
(Aleph is the first hanging form I have ever carved. It emerged as a result of my fascination with and love for the Cello Sonatas by Benjamin Britten. I had made a series of drawings (sets of straight lines drawn with a ruler on A4 sheets of paper) in which I tried to visually capture the nature of this music. Surprising and elusive phenomena in those drawings triggered the desire to translate this music and the visual notations into three-dimensional matter - and to try and stay as close as possible to their immaterial nature. After first attempts in porcelain failed I experimented with wood - and had found my medium. The very first shapes I carved in wood were individual uneven and curved lines which - for want of a better solution - were placed rather awkwardly on the floor. But how does a line connect to the surrounding space? How is a line in this world ?
As I contemplated this question suddenly the idea of a hole 'appeared' at each end of the single carved line and turned the ends of the single wooden line into circles. In subsequent carvings these circles rested pedestal-like on the ground and held the single line between them -curved away from the floor- in space.
Then (the thought of) the two holes at each end merged, thus 'splitting' the single wooden line along its full length and turning it into a loop.
In trying to find an equivalent to sound in matter I had discovered the loop - and thus my most fundamental unit and tool.
The first wooden carved horizontal loop was shaped like a rubber band stretched between two fingers with two more or less parallel 'sides' (see the loop on the right in the small photo below).
Suddenly -in my mind- I 'folded' this loop in a way that it seems to have four parallel 'sides' (tracing the edges of the wooden beam) - the form which I then carved as Aleph shown above.
The photo below is, sadly, the only one of the very first wooden and horizontal 'sculptures' I ever made that has survived - of carved individual lines which for the first time confronted me with the question of the relationship between thought and reality (the difficulty of how an immaterial line is in the world) which led to the process described above - which to this day is absolutely central to my work. The poor quality of this snapshot as well as the (terrible) experimental use of paint illustrate the fact that at that time I knew nothing about my work. It emerged in a completely thoughtless manner, I acted without any meta-level of conscious understanding but instead simply observed very carefully what emerged and how. To this day these kind of 'unsuccessful' looking things to me hold a seemingly infinite potential for further thought and exploration.)
The ultimate paradox of thought: to try and discover something that thought itself cannot think. S.K.
Was ist eine 'Tatsache'?
("I had to compensate for my lack of 'talent'. I can neither draw, paint, sculpt - nor carve. All of which are plagued by arbitrariness - the absence of necessity. Using a ruler to draw offered a way out." "Talent can be the artist's worst enemy.")