we look at a surface we cannot recognize, we cannot identify, we cannot distinguish, and we ask for meaning and origin. colours, flowing forms, shadows and overlays carry us into irritation. right there and then we try to find out about forms, cohesion and meaning. what we are really trying to do is to find an answer to the question, what is that?
we see a surface and try to look through or underneath like we do when we peek into a window from outside. daylight is so bright, though, that the window acts like a mirror and leaves us with a faint idea of form and contents of the room, only. do we deny the existence of the room then? hardly, because we know there is a room behind the window panes. we know there is design and some sort of interior decoration. Even though there might only be the scarcest sort of furniture, say by scratches on the walls and entirely empty otherwise, we still would and could accept the existence of a room.
once confronted by non representational pictures or objects we do not seem to find such a view as easily. in such a situation we like to ask right away, how has this been made, what is it meant to represent, what is the meaning in it? these questions are not reaching far enough. They lead away from seeing, lead away from the triggering of our imagination by a visible impression. thus a picture cannot build up within us. We block ourselves against a chance to recognize something just for itself and by itself, something that belongs to us alone and nobody else.
an image is and image, that much is true. That does not mean though, it is the same image for everyone. likewise it must be clear that not everybody has the identical impression of an obvious picture of reality contents. it might be imaginable that it will make the same or a very similar impression on all spectators but everyone of them will see something different. one will note the most prominent colour, the next details of objects or matter, or the next will see the lights that is the subjects matter to make a picture into a picture. so an image is an image, and still it is not the same picture all over again.
turning to the question of the object shown or the meaning behind the composition, we bar ourselves the chance to recognize, to have our senses opened and feel and imagine.
the obvious is not the obvious and by searching for the obvious we lose track to the obviously visible in art â€“ opening ourselves to feelings and sensing.
© charlie f. kohn 10.99