45 x 64 cm, framed
(Sheet dimensions: 41 x 60 cm)
and 38 x 33 cm, unframed
Edition 3 + 1 AP
10,5 x 15 cm, unframed
33 unique copies
A negative of the hands that in the course of a touch – I am here – once inscribed themselves in another material, a body of rock – I was here. Captured in a photo: an image of an imprint. Of a moment in time when the urge to leave something behind was translated into a movement. I see you. Can a gaze that knows it is equally transient ever be neutral?
Our machines will outlive us. Since our bodies are destined to their fate – to a finitude that insults us, who can only perceive the world as something that permanently runs through us – it is on our most sensitive spots that our time and our touches first show themselves: eyes, throats, hands – palms. Life spent. In old age as in travel, it’s probably best to simply give in to the body, and to the movement and heaviness it craves. On the other hand, there is the indifference of objects to all that is now passed, from which they are made.
A moment comes to a standstill and becomes a trace, opening up a narrow window to the infinite space that shows us what actually exceeds of our powers of seeing: our own state of thrownness in this formidable and endless mass of time. I could find no word to describe the sense of dizziness I felt looking into the night sky, even though I was sure there must be a name for this specific feeling of falling, and of one’s own smallness in the word. This feeling carries an urgency similar to the message contained within the cave drawings in Peter Piller’s photographs – signs that insist on being understood without words.
This gap, a narrow passage to all that occurs and concurs, opens up at times and waits in silence for a gaze to fall into it. As in the nameless dizziness, a human trace in the stone, in the dawn; the past is simply closer in some hours than in others. The voices of yesterday are closer in the morning than those raised today. In Marguerite Duras’s Les main négatives, we catch a glimpse, a sound, an inkling of this valley between the present and the moment when age and decay made what was previously vital a thing of the past – a valley that widens with every second. Time trickles by and fades away inexorably; we clamor and reach for others, grasping and clutching in vain, caught between love and greed. And yet still we travel calmly through the slow morning. Between lost lights and street canyons, we see the time elapsed and the shadows of the new day, see the new buildings built on the ruins of the old, just as we are.
– Thea Mantwill
Photos: Cedric Mussano