Emilia Fogelklou: ‘Form och strålning, Åskådningsfragment’, 1958
It should be made clear to everyone, of course, that an emotional upheaval in human life can and must happen.
Maybe if Christianity blew up traditional shells and sleeves and only lived in truth? It always felt like the spirit was chased away by the official preaching. (Bareheaded)
That’s how I saw it over 50 years ago.
Time is now shaking with the anxieties of the search – and the fears. What I bring here was only a fragment of a view, along with reflections of contemporary seekers – movements to the extent that they have reached me.
To Pascal’s words: “You would not seek me if you had not found me.” I wanted to add: “You have not found me, if you do not seek me again and again.”
Hogfors February 1958.
The earliest draft of a couple of the essays in Form and Radiation was given in a series lectures in Stockholm (November 1954). Applicants in art, poetry, prayer, on behalf of the Society for Sweden and the Christian faith.
[FORM AND RADIATION / TO VIEW]
Child hangs motionless up on an old gate to drink in the evening’s sun games until it goes out. What is it that takes a little creature so completely, that all other lures are lost for its attraction? Is it an aesthetic sight? It is more as if the child has been brought in by a new world, world, as if she had only looked at it.
The child may not have just seen the sun’s space paintings. It might have looked through them. Was it in all childish heat an intuition of “unlimited presence?” Was it the beauty herself who cried out to the child? Or did the little one have a sense of wholeness and space, which adults rarely have? Did she know without knowledge what biologists know: there is an indestructible connection between everything that exists?
It was not observation. It was a rising in total view, an attention that intoxicated not only the eyes that saw but the whole little creature that lived, saw, knew – without form or boundaries.
The same child experiences their contact with shapely, colourful flower, fruit or tree structures differently,
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such details that it may first have become aware of through someone else, e.g. the small feathered gene on a thistle – by the way, just as good as the “alpha rays in air,” which the fog chambers of the whitefish reveal to us with structures completely out of sight of our eyes!
These were forms the child admired, was interested in or wanted to imitate. But they did not linger in the town, but instead frantically asked: to what extent? why? The child did not go, it laughed, compared, asked.
It know with its eyes, not through them, to speak like William Blake.
Expression and beauty are not two concepts but a
During the widespread unemployment of the interwar, I sat […] in an international folk high school, just then populated by the sides that have been put out of work.
The person who taught English language told me how long she tried in vain to captivate the students with the best poems about nature, love, help. She had tried both the cheerful genre and the more grand or the idyllic. But weighted as the students were of future worries, she received only their obligatory attention without interest.
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“If I were to try poems out of desperation, ‘poems of despair’,” she thought one day. And so she did her experiment.
Through this new selection, she got her students to her surprise with [?] as never before. And she understood what it was because they had been confronted with expressions that collected and over-articulated this heavy, dull, indefinable, bitter that put them out of life.
The expression did not remove the worries. But recognising the echoes of the spirit lifted them up in a different, larger and more humane perspective. It blew up the crowded private boundaries around the weight. And the listeners could exist in a wider world, where precisely that answer connected them with others who lived and suffered – as well as themselves.
I live. In school and live.
I got an overwhelming and lasting impression of time in the Louvre in front of the militated Nike from Samothrace.
When I would first search for words for the liberating and long-lasting shock she gave, then it was hardly an attempt to reproduce the form language. She became symbol. I translated to: the victory of life over fate, over all destinies.
“What meets us as a great aesthetic experience
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gives us a revelation of our inner life,” says Susan Langer.
[“The genesis of symbolic forms – verbal, religious, artistic, mathematical, or whatever modes of expression there be – is the odyssey of the mind.” Susan Langer, 1946]
But the artistic form was broken, when I saw Nike.
The question then continued: was the power of impression related to the time storm, which is now bursting and shattering? But still unable to kill the spirit of life that has radiated through the forms and still moving, creates triumphs through obvious destruction.
It was a new reality I saw through Nike, at once timed and timeless.
The entire qualification — — for under-
standing art is responsiveness.
A friend had a break in Cologne recommended me to go and see old Cologne ladies, especially some mentioned.
I went there, looked for them, obediently, one after the other. And I probably watched, but I could not see them. And I went out sad.
But near the end, suddenly one of these Madonnas happened to catch my eye, completely unexpected and unprepared. And now I could see. Slowly and unintentionally, I walked back through the halls. Then all superficial hear
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activity was blown away, everything changed. Those who had direct messages to me came and found me, unhindered.
Susceptibility – right into the spectator’s unconscious life – implies spontaneity. From the outside, it can neither be defended nor forced.
A few years ago, I was invited to a Norwegian conference, with psychological and theological topics on the programme.
No association stood as an invitee. It was a group of individuals, mostly men. They represented a wide variety of worlds of work, a professor, a worker, a farmer, a newspaper editor, a couple of teachers, some housewives, a school principal, a doctor and others.
The discussions were factual, of a rational or radical type, without what is usually called building elements. The seriousness was pronounced. It gave relief to statements I would not have remembered if I had only read them.
Only near the break-up did I realise that most of the participants ten years earlier had either been on Grini or had been in German concentration camps. For after that, during the course of the days, it had never happened, how often a reason could be given for it.
The secrecy had a strange and strong after-effect. Live when something grows before the eyes can see
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that, something loaded with possibility and power and uncertainty, so that the silence is far from empty – it itself becomes the ‘expression’, the envelope, the truth demands. Our reception bodies are often untrained for the attention that captures the silence as a form. It took time to catch up with it. But the effect was transferable and vibrated strongly afterwards.
The dramatisation of Anne Frank’s diary such as art expression applauded by the auditorium in other countries received in their places in Germany with the deepest silence. There the reality of the drama had reached the essence, it that which is before art and all its expressions.
That silence was not a reflection, not a conclusion. Pause. It was a view of the whole being, inspiring dramatic events from within.
In Vilhelm Grønbech’s anonymously published youth poem collection, Morituri (1903) sits a sun-starved prisoner in one cell, where never a ray shrines in.
“Suddenly he saw a beam leading in between the lattice bars. For a moment he stood breathless: it became. He had [go] to up to it — — — and it stood still. That this was a miracle, he understood, but had no room for that thought now. Then all thoughts that were reversed
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and turned in the darkness of a whole winter was to be sunbathed in this little ray.
And then he did not know that it was a child playing with a window, and the child did not know that by his play it was God who let the sun stand still over a whole world.”
Regardless of the spice scent of humour or even irony, which partly stimulates the depiction and partly bleaches the times, we are faced here with the fact that a phenomenon network for our external senses comprehensible phenomenon from a being’s needs and the whole susceptibility situation can have such a deep meaning in radiation, that it puts the whole person in movement, despite the fact that the gripping unity happened to be associated with an illusion. We receive a view that is completely real to us, despite the mysteriously ingenious playfulness of the mediator, which puzzles our rationality and perhaps destroys what we lived up to. However, without us being able to forget it.
I came to stop before this through another context. I know someone who only once in his life experienced what in psychological language is called hallucination. But the distinct experience was so overloaded with secret recognisable signs and confidential messages that it became exactly what at that time helped the son in question not only to harden and move on but to see life differently.
Making theories of it was and remained impossible. Although it meant a visual (inner) encounter with a
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‘dead’, it had nothing to do with what the spectator witnessed in a spiritualistic session or in parapsychological experiments.
I must put down any other explanation than that the person in question in distinctly visible form escaped a radiation which, for no other being on this earth, could have had the same depth of meaning.
It could not be said that it would be like leaving a fish from the sea lying on the hot sand, completely out of its element.
The spectator did not feel fear of psychological terms or explanations, gladly so! They may actually account for a connection between certain elements of consciousness. But the radiation really penetrates within the explanations. It just exists. But in these cases for a single.
Indian piety speaks of Uddīpana, that is, some form comprehensible to the senses, which lets infinite love play shine forth. Such an image, a true ‘murti’, is recognised by the pious bhaktan through this: it came more the love of God that constantly lives in him to ignite, while his heart remains passive in the face of a mere image of created by imagination, no matter how great a work of art it may be. (Walther Eidlitz)
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I get in my mind what is being said about the original icon painting. During meditation and prayer, immeasurable qualities were sown in the colours and in the gold, which spiritually experienced observers were able to discern as its inspiring and faith-strengthening origin.
One may ask: is it the form itself, the aesthetically perceived and valued, that is then the essential? It almost seems as if a direct and transmissible radiation of inspiration, across the form of the image, is transmitted to the beholder deep into the sphere of life of the conscious.
I found an affirmation of this thought in C. Day Lewis. (It was about the effect on the audience of the celestial motif in a Beethoven Quartet): “There can be little doubt about this, he says, that such emotional movement is a reproduction of the movement that was the creator’s poetic impulse. Such reproduction is the main purpose of a poem and effect.”
The task of an artist or poet or prophet is to shape the form that transmits the self-conceived, experienced to life tat is transferable to the present. It is usually hard work, perhaps to the breaking point later, to “get the song out, which until then still disappeared on the way out?” Why? “I only uses proven
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means, the old masters! — — It was clear that what was on my mind could not be formulated with their means. Faithfulness to the vision implicitly specified the means, and every deviation means forgery. The precision of means is the only way to true simplicity.” (Karl-Birger Blomdahl)
The spectator, the listener receives vibrations through the “mysterious movement” of the work of art or the poem (Ragnar Josephson), which the creation of form has made possible.
There is an even more direct outflow of creative life than art and poetry. I am referring to the elements of contemplation (prayer). I do not think primarily of words or symbols, but rather of a life of silence with transmissible wave motions. I do not approach these “secret movements” here from a theological point of view, but as richly substantiated human experience. We cannot capture them through our five senses, as little as the power play within an atom. The realty of the latter we have authorities belief in the Age of Science. How do we become in a time of inner shortness to breath again – and more sensitive – aware of the power of prayer play? It is in other dimensions than the design reveals its reality.
Works of art and poems can work through form. However, it has a radiation grid that can penetrate all kinds of shapes, border-penetrating. I want to make comparisons, for the sake of simplicity
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starting point from one and the same motif, the tree (without the nature of the starting motif per se having any meaning).
Rembrandt’s etching Three Trees does not represent the three crosses but real trees, which captures the shadows and days of the space game, during a struggle between heavy clouds and a lingering light space. One could want to describe with the of Gunnar Ekelöf: “In the trees hung big tears and the clouds roamed crying along the horizon.”
Previously, no one had captured a landscape in dramatic light play so much that it had a deep undertone of soul landscape. The etching was created when the painter after Saskia’s death wandered out into the landscape. It lifts new reality into us. It stands like the trees imperishably healthy and redeeming. Everything is said in the lines without colour that could have bleached.
The struggle and victory of the form itself has purified the anxieties of emotions and endowed them with lasting and transferable life.
There are commandments not only to the eye and the sense of form but into our unconscious world. With all traceable origin and demonstrable orientation, a time-bound and time-lost messenger.
By modern poets inspired by trees in the city. I now reach some well-known stanzas in Karin Boyes
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For the sake of the tree, the collection she first wanted to call Martall . . .
A tree grows underground
— — — —
There a tree is wound in heavy layers of soil.
Oh, wind! Sunlight!
— — — —
And in another way:
You, when it is worst and nothing helps,
burst as in rejoicing the buds of the tree,
— — — —
feels for a second his greatest security,
rests in that trust
who creates the world.
There are no rhymes. Other rhymes, from within, take the step further out in time and variability. These are not still trees with fans in the crown, but trees in trembling and danger, into the hidden fibres of the root system. They do not reveal themselves in a single whole measure of time. Step by step, they successfully reveal their secrets.
“There are facts behind the moods, which no one but yourself can know anything about,” writes the poet (to Margit Abenius). — “For me, a tree is as alive as you, a personality”, she says another time.
Yet the tree motif is only the starting point for this release of a creature’s hidden being – in its darkness,
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its tormenting knowledge and in the breakthroughs of light and trust. Karin Boye knows more than ever “the poet’s task of finding his own underground. Language beyond logic.” The poem itself seemed, when it came, as an innovation of form, called abstract and surrealistic. But what it gave became transferable, through its very new form.
And now I come from art and poetry to Frère Laurent, Brother Lawrence, the lay brother in the Carmelite order, at the end of the 17th century. Ye still lives and breathes in the covers of a small thin booklet, with the Swedish title Exercise in Living Near God (L’experience de la pre sense de Dieu), by Nobel laureate John Mott counted as one of the three most important devotional books for the international Christian movement. By Brother Lawrence’s own hand, the booklet still seems radioactive by some secretively evocative radiance.
A contemporary tells the story of Brother Lawrence’s: “When in the winter he saw a tree shedding its leaves, he pondered how soon the leaves would come agin and then flower and fruit.” He then gained such a “deep insight into God’s providence and all power” that it was “never obliterated from his consciousness.”
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It was an ordinary tree for others, which forever belonged to his starting point and stood as a witness, when he was permeated by the certainty of the Presence, which remained in his experience throughout his life.
if it has been frozen to the ground and completely ‘defoliated’ within him before that – no one gets to know anything about it. But he lives from that moment inspired, it may now be the business trips for the monastery or the everyday chores of the monastery kitchen. Constant wave motions connect the ‘inner’ to the ‘outer’ without obstructing boundaries. He has time for what he needs. “Under the crowd and the chatter in my kitchen, where many are calling for different things at once, I have God to the same degree as when I am kneeling at the altar,” he writes.
Brother Lawrence is neither poet, an artist, nor a preacher. Not even the lay brother was made ‘spiritual’, a monk, despite an influx of people from widely different strata of society, who wanted to come to terms with the bright secrecy that shone through him against them as security and joy. He was neither remarkable nor deeply sensible, but simply the guarantor of a reality that can transform life by letting through atmospheres of another kind, a radiation into the thick fog of everyday wear and tear and worries.
I do not move with theology, as little as with literary or art history. Only with the possibility of transferability between people of what they innermost
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received. And I believe that the bearers of a shapeless forehead, the ‘transformers’ of the world, no matter how few or unknown they may be, are important mediators of a radiation that we need more than ever. The very type of radiation is its ‘form’ — vibrations in through an infinite variety of personal worlds and design rings in all degrees of reach and creation for transformations.
In our seemingly outward-looking time, we hear painters and poets’ voices calling for what lives inside and shapes form. What matters everywhere is to “find the full boldness of prayer. For in this dead world it is he who is.” (“Retrieve all the hardness of the priests. Because there is nothing like this world that priests.” Pierre Jean Joule in Puncta Mystica.) — Det är “konster nas konst och vetenskapernas vetenskap.” (Tito Colliander) [It is “the art of the arts and the science of the sciences.” (Tito Colliander)]
In his book, The Mysticism of Poetry, Hans Ruin, like Henri Bremen and later Östen Sjöstrand, deals with the relationship between prayer and artistic inspiration. He states fro Runeberg’s posthumously issued estate the following:
—— “Many sing and many pray and in the words, on the outside the difference is small. But the words of one
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is wrapped in night. There is an emptiness, a cold, darkness over them, which is revealed more easily than explained, while the other is illuminated and warmed by a small flash, a streak from a sun-heart, and gets a completely different expression of clarity, of warmth and light.”
In the above, no boundary is made between poetry and prayer, as if they were different areas. The distinction itself is vertical. It is the streak, the radiation, “from a solar heart,” the boundary-penetrating that makes all the difference in form, value, style or cultural nature can be broken through by an entirely internal factor “which is more easily perceived than explained.”
Meeting point is the inspiration. This context-saturated word has, however, like so many other symbols of rich heritage, in our peculiar now lost conceptual value even for great poets. “The poem as a whole arises from certain internal secretarial facts, and nothing more can be said about that matter” the words of a great Swedish poet were referenced in the daily press. From one either-or you happen to be in another. But can not a both-and be given?
I asked a young artist, Randi Fisher, what she thought of the matter. She replied as follows: “Prayer poems — are everywhere. Sometimes can not be separated. Some people do not notice it. — — It is so extensive ring in ring — together with everything else, with the rings of work, with the rings of play and the rings of experience. Prayer may be denied by many. Or it gets a new name.”
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Nowadays, it seems as if only the consuming qualifier after exhausted inspiration could really reveal its indispensable reality no matter how much one pulls oneself to use loud words. (Jarl Hemmer, Stig Dagerman.)
To perceive, to see, to get rid of the “streak from the solar heart” presupposes, just like the primitive empathy, open receptivity and therefore also a kind of real contact. To see is road, path, window to something other than oneself. It is to be the presence of someone or something.
From Natanael Beskow, the preacher and painter, I received the following description in 1930 in a summer letter from Brindberg’s summer cottages.
— — — “The other day I was looking at a landscape that consisted only of a stone, surrounded by such soft, juicy moss, which forms a pattern of bright stars against a dark mysterious deep background, and of lingonberry rice and a little other green in varying colours.
It was an expression of God’s life, I’m nothing more remarkable than the moss and the stone. Not in myself. The remarkable thing is the life of God in us. And it becomes obvious all the time as much as I am in God now and here and nothing desires for myself, nothing thinks of myself.”
Here is the view of beauty and the religious contemplation of “God’s life” from within moss and stone –
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together in inseparable unity. Everyone becomes a presence, both what the eye sees and what the inner world reflects, with its foil of life experience.
It we want to see the outside world, we must keep our eyes open. To get a sense of presence, we must stand open inwards in a contemplation that eventually becomes dialogue.
I brought brother Lawrence out of the past. I would like to include here a contemporary testimony about the shapeless view they and the recipients value of it after decades. I pick it up from Albert Camus. But not from any of the Nobel Laurette’s great well-known books, but from his youth book, L’envers et l’endroit. In his preface to the new edition (1958), Camus says: “About life itself I know nothing more than what was quite awkwardly said in L’envers et l’endroit. — — — A work of man is nothing but a long-term wandering (chemis nement) to find in the detours of art the two or three simple great visions before which the heart was opened for the first time. — — — The young do not know that your experience is a defeat and that you must lose everything in order to know anything at all…” The new preface emphasizes the youth book’s clarity about a fashion between despair without self-pity (apitoy) and Love.
The essays in L’envers et l’endroit linger
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in situations of hopelessness and incurable boredom. But the centre of them is a translucent, selfless moment, a state of clarity, “something tender and extraterrestrial, the immaculate memory of a pure feeling, of a moment that floats in eternity. This one is true in me. But I see it’s always too late. Finally I was myself; because nothing but love gives us back to ourselves.”
“What can be the link between immersive love of life and secret despair?” asks the young Camus, who no longer believes that “love is something you can demand.” He touches on a human escape from this state of open heart, the habit of habit: “My wife is dead. Fortunately, I have a huge package of documents to formulate until tomorrow.”
But if you stop, the current breaks, dares stay…?
One of the Nobel Laureate’s most recent short stories, Akten skapsbryterskan (i Landsflykten och riket), once again has its centre of gravity in such a radiant moment. “She forgot the cold, the long horror of living or dying. After all these years, when she constantly fled from fear and ran wild without a goal, she finally stopped. At the same time she seemed to find her roots. Then the night’s flows began to fill with an unbearable gentleness
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Janine, defeated by the cold, rose slowly from the centre of her being to the heart. — — — And her eyes were lifted up above the heavens, whereupon she lay on the cold ground.”
There breathes an unconditionality, and inevitably from these moments. They are followed by no words of proclamation, no attempts at transferability or stated ethical consequences. They simply communicate a knowledge, give a discreet statement of something that is simply, not just was, but is.
It then becomes, as it is called in the preface of 1958. “a long journey to find detours of art again” this view.
Are we as a generation right now on the detours around a discovery?
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THE CRISIS OF ART
FROM A HUMAN SEEKER VIEW POINT
Our whole inner world is reality, perhaps
more than a visible world.
A whole world breaks away from itself,
out escapes itself. Knocks out his heart walls,
leaves his only lifeline and throws
him into the void. The void? Yes.
But the self-overcoming leap out of itself
makes that void a living space.
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Our old static world with all its form boundaries has been broken up by a new vision. The one we now live in is, to say the least, a world of movement. Almost born of anxiety, ignorance and zeal, we seek to capture a way of life outside or inside our senses, with electrons, protons, neutrons, atomic explosions, radioactive radiation, time-space dimensions and other extraterrestrial phenomena, which through the very press of the day places incessant demands on our attention. If we begin to understand any of this cleric-Latin about all-present phenomena, which we can not see, we are drawn away from habitual ways of thinking and thinking in order to seek to orient ourselves before or in a universe where change seems to us to be the only stable and where the dimensions transcend all reason.
When a layman with quick-awake eyes works to be able to orientate himself in this cosmos outside his senses, neither nature nor time or space may retain its old faces. They do not look at us as before. They have acquired an alien diversity of aspects, layers,
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vibrations, ‘quantum’, radiation. A world – or at least a worldview – has perished. Is another perhaps in the grip of the birth pangs? A kind of world that seems far from rock-solid or tangible, rather light-shaking and in a dark-threatened world also light-losing. The dangers of this planet’s suicide right now are frightening. The devotion required for scolding and watching is exposed to incessant disturbance, split ring, emptiness, anxiety.
Far away, as a parallel, Heraclitus’ vision of the world’s constant doom and the creation of worlds reappears. “This cosmos has been, is and will be a fire, which is always alive, properly lit and extinguished properly.” And “there is only one wise judgment. It still does not want to be mentioned by the name of Zeus.” (Fragment 65.)
But not only space has had its boundaries broken. Man, too, is compelled in a more compelling way than before to look into the most current existence of his own unconscious lens, to begin with at least in its lower strata, perhaps even in the “collectively unconscious.” A “who sees in the hidden” is still seldom discernible — if not in the searchlight, which pushes on from within.
At the same time, the West has the old feudal the shell of “fixed order” – through education to imitation
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weathered away, before even democracy, within the peoples who at least nominally profess to it, matured for the way of life: community out of difference.
Our half of the 20th century also became the epoch of World War II. The young and middle-aged generation was torn apart from normal living. Death, shrinkage, hunger, childbirth, chronic resentment, refugee life and other injuries marked too many into the next generation. The boredom of man during this eclipse of the human self, pessimism, anxiety has left indelible traces, even though light penetrated all the way to the depths, where anguish can meet innovation. Political turmoil with passages and anti-passages, loaded with disharmonies, not least anonymous, became hour after hour through the press and radio aware, also for all ‘neutral’. It is as if, as far as the political situation is concerned, we are all trapped in the same thick fog of barren habitual thinking, despite the discharges of the entirely new conditions.
And yet! Never before have the individuals who now, thanks to the press and radio and the new means of subsistence, been enabled to experience as their own cultures and events process, which could previously be counted as foreign and did not significantly affect ‘us’. Not to mention archaeology’s discoveries of grounded cultures. We are set up for living people who used to be just names from the past.
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We are one unit. But still involuntary and disharmonious, and we are in dire need of the unifying element.
Without the war aftermath of inequality and suffering, and all that Hiroshima has confronted man with, the new worldview could have filled us with happy astonishment. We could have experienced it as a new act of creation. We would have discovered a variety of “similarities” with the way of working in spiritual life.
“Everything we now call history, may one day be regarded as the brief introduction to the great evolutionary period of mankind, which takes place against the background of the starry sky.” (Arthur C. Clarke, The Road to Space on, SvD. 17/2 57).
But with that optimism must be equated how men in their knowledge and their inhumanity go about abusing the newfound powers.
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The transformations of views
The course are the suffering and deeds of
Much earlier than in our century, restructuring in the visual field has taken place of a radical nature.
The big change in the painting’s picture light in new scientifically illuminated by Wilhelm Schöne in Das Light in the painting.
All image light in the Middle Ages is an inner light, a radiation from within the image itself. Exterior lighting and switching between shadow and light do not exist for the artist. “The light of the world of image is immanent and strikes spectators immediately, like the light of a light source. It it was extinguished, the world of images became not only invisible but non-existent. Förf calls this ‘self-light’ [‘natural-light’] and ‘late light’ in contrast to ‘pointer light’ of the external lighting which we have been accustomed to reckon with in the art of painting since the Renaissance.
We encounter ‘self-light’ [‘natural-light’] distinctly in the manuscripts illuminations. But especially in the glass windows (Chartres), “the culmination of self-light.” This light is most closely associated with the deeply religious [aspect] of medieval cosmology
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worldview, as it was most clearly portrayed by Dante. Colour is here a direct function of light. I agree with Wilhelm Schöne’s double-bottomed concluding remarks on modern art, where colour has become an intrinsic value and light a function of colour: “One may ask about the color of his vase (wesenhaft) funnel in the stall of the lighting candle? Or if the lighting light has just hidden in the color? In any case, it itself has become invisible.”
The great upheaval takes place during the 15th century, along with the Renaissance’s strong shift in interest from the divine to the human. In painting, this direction of light discovered by the shadow means “the opposite pole of worldly light.”
During the collapse of the medieval worldview, with insecurity and anxiety in an era where customs were dissolved and anonymous evil forces are seen to play fun games with the weak and lustful he people, an artist emerges, who reveals striking kinship with the anxiety of out own time. — I am thinking of the now said attentively Hieronymus Bosch (1460-1516). Empty in his paradise [“T.o.m. i hans paradis”] (Eve’s creation) one sees the cat take a rat, and the birds a frog close to the eyes of the first newly created humans. Spaces are filled with fantastic evil games, with striking features from the real world. The abhorrence of present-day humanity erupts in the physically overpowering beings, with faces of evil, stupidity and complete indifference, as Bosch
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stands close to the cross-bearer with his eyes closed and his suffering features.
From the Renaissance, painting became tied to it sight only reality, especially the human with all its variants.
But again, there has been a great change in our inner embrace of the eyes’ reflection of reality. Man asks new questions before things. Their physicality no longer exists so confidently. She sees force fields, wave motions, radiation, structures, instead of boundary lines. Nature opens up new layers for man.
In front of the tree e.g. it is perhaps more the growth and flowering itself than the static, plastic form the eye encounters, which cries out for expression. The interest in trees, flowers, streams is shifted to the dynamic events: grow, flower, stream. Do not reproduce the car, but the speed.
Even a non-artist may, after confrontation with the new worldview, come to say that I would even physically perceive it, as vibrating life throughout creation, in a state where all weight and inertia are gone and where levitations and light phenomena in legends and elsewhere are remembered as related sensations. It happens on the other side of colour and shape, but it is accounted with movement light, with radiation. Or rather with a new perception of reality as permeated by life and movement rhythms the
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eye can not even catch, but all nerves can vibrate off. It is like a memorisation of the birth of all the witnesses of the senses, a state which in the century of intellectualism has been considered inferior and superfluous. It can not be defined, not even as ‘materialised light’, because it has somehow come beyond the boundary, with openness to “what no eye has seen and no ear has heard and what in no human heart has originated.”
But I return to contemporary art and return more often to Haftmann’s views.
Modern painting is “a form reflex of a particular situation in modern man,” a refection of change, of a new reality basis for the world of expression. Therefore, one can not reject that form reflex without rejecting one’s own existence in this time.
The ‘image of man’ is hereafter included within the work of art itself. She comes along as a kind of “Bildinnenlicht” [‘image interior light’]. The old question of “the human league in art” — if you mean it by imagery — reveals a helpless misunderstanding of this idea, says Haftmann. “Reproduction of the outside world is a lost function.” Art does not consist in reproducing the visible but in making something visible. The abstract painting wants to reproduce the experience in the inner region (without reproducing the outer).
The talk about the godlessness of modern art is meaningless.
[p41 KONSTENS KRIS]
One can speak of remoteness from God, if one means a feeling of distance in the face if a being distant from the human dimensions. (Haftmann.)
Franz Marc, who sought to portray the animal ‘in himself’, not just in relation to man, states the artist’s goal as follows: “To find and manifest the laws that govern the universe, to reach beyond the individual and enter into metaphysical realms.”
I take a few sentences from Carl Nordenfalk’s review of Wilhelm Schöne’s book (D.N.21 AND 23/11 1955): “Ancient art was able to render the radiant light of God, it could capture the different forms of revelation of artificial and natural light in nature, in short, all the light phenomena that have hitherto entered the sphere of human experience.”
But modern science has since proven the existence of previously unknown forms of light.
“There can be no doubt that modern painting is an attempt in the field of art to create an equivalent to the at once frightening and wonderful worldview of modern research — a style of good and evil which to some seems like a seed to the ultimate doom of art, for others again as a means of penetrating hitherto unknown worlds.” —
Throughout human existence, the worship of light is real and symbolic. This opens up [a] breathtaking perspective of ‘more light’.
[p42 KONSTENS KRIS]