Friday, November 9, 2007

An die Mimosen

Right. I decided to critique and interpret my work here and there.

So here's a collage from last year. It is a fascinatingly complex image playing mainly with the viewpoint-element. The image is hard to make sense of. Our eyes are drawn to the installation in the background where a Buddha figure is being filmed and the image is played back at it live. My first reaction was: „What?“ I was confused.
In order to get a grip on this, let’s analyze those three elements first (correct me if I err):
- the Buddha stands for serenity and non-self.
- the camera symbolizes the obserer in as far as it is guided or put in place by a human being, able to observe. Humans (for the most part) have a sense of self („I“) as supposed to „you“ or „other“ yet some of us wish to reach a state of Buddha or non-self.
- the tv set is displaying what the camera feeds it, i.e. what the observing human behind that camera choses to record. If this is a live feed situation, there is somewhat less control on the observer’s side.
The crude juxtaposition of Buddha and TV-set plays on the different notions of
a) the term „being“ (einai [Greek to be] vs ousia [Greek essence]),
b) between ontological materialism (all phenomena including thoughts and ideas) can be ascribed to matter and ontological idealism (matter as well as any human action is merely an effigy of ideas) as well as
c) between ontological realism (the world exists even if there is noone observing it) and solipsism (the external world are contens of conciousness without a proper existence.

Questions that result are:
- is the Buddha (and all other phenomena) real, because we are observing him?
- would it be real even if there was noone to observe him?
- if there was noone to obserbe the Buddha, would the assertion „the Buddha exists“ be true or false?

Now that we discussed the background of the image, lets turn to the foreground.
A man is holding up a poster challenging Mr. Bushs presidency. In connection with the scene in the background, he seems to be in the wrong place. Questions that result are: is the protestors presence adequate? Are the contents of his poster adequate? Does adequacy allow conclusions to validity? Therefore, is the protest of this man valid?

There is yet another element that gives room for interpretation: the writing. „Jagdwechsel“ is a combination of two words: Jagt (German. chase) and Wechsel (German change), implying the turnaround of a situation where A is chasing B. B is now chasing A.
„An die Mimosen“ is complex too. Mimose (German. mimosa) is a term used for a person who is overly sensitive. So the term „an die Mimosen“ stands for attacking people who are overly sensitive. Questions to be asked here are:
- Who is being adressed?
- What does the word „chase“ referr to?

Now try to combine all the elements and draw your own conclusions.

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