Does witnessing poverty and deprivation make me want to change their situation on the one hand, or on the other, it merely changes my reflections on my own life, ambitions, aspirations and priorities?
Their uncertainties are an unsolvable dilemma and my reflections are simply frustrating.
Mortality is the essence in Heidegger’s proposal of authentic living. His concept of Dasein (being-there, existence) has become very current in the context of my reflections on viewing art in Valencia.
The idea that death forms the meaning to life is well-defined within the philosophical framework. Many thinkers have discussed ‘death’ and its relationships to what we do and how are. Montaigne argues that “to study philosophy is to learn how to die”. Seneca proposes that “life is nothing, but a journey to death.” This was further extended and contradicted by Nietzsche, who states that life’s purpose and meaning are defined by our goals and inspirations.
Existential writer – Camus emphasises the absurdity of life. This thought process is extended by Kierkegaard, who questions the sense of life in the context of death.
Many others also suggest that love, beauty or reason are necessary to provide existence with meaning. My reflection is that most Philosophers will not simply assert that death is sufficient to give our existence a form of meaning and reason. Is art as a language of expression perhaps that addition, which is needed? Is visual exploration trying to solve the biggest puzzle of life?
I have spent the last two days exploring a range of galleries and museums in this bustling city. Currently, there is a broad offer of exciting exhibitions available, covering both Spanish and internationally renowned; traditional and contemporary fine artists. During my viewing experiences, I tried to categorise artefacts by the essence of their subject matter or theme. After a very careful consideration, I have concluded that our common fear of transience is the origin of all of our thoughts, feelings and undertakings. We are subjected to mortality and this is where all of our worries and anxieties are stemmed from. This phenomenon can manifest itself in a variety of forms, from religion, fear of omnipotent God and the ‘Last Judgement’ to death, illness, pain and other general life’s misfortunes. I found an ever-increasing evidence of loneliness, isolation, alienation and forever present inability to establish a deeper rapport and communication with others.
The most common theme in all work was an act of inner desperation to get ‘help’ from someone out there, who can help us to embrace our uncertainties through some ‘magic’ participation in our lives.
In conclusion, I have a growing uncertainty concerned with an inclusion of ‘religion’ in my visual research and experimentation
A documentary photographic review is below:
IVAM – Institut Valencià d’Art Modern
Annette Messager. Pudique – Publique
Tony Cragg’s work at the Palace of Arts and Science.
Ulso Elemany’s exhibition at the Boncaixa Foundacion titled
“The Suicide of Painting”
Espai Alfaro’s work at “The Place”
Exciting graffiti in a derelict area of Valencia.