'Takeover Pt.1' Artist Retreat in Cassis, 2018
“SENTIMENTAL DEFENSE” is the third publication project within our association. This publication is the result of a 10-days artist retreat which took place in the French town of Cassis featuring 8 international artists from our collective. Allowing them to create new material focused on the theme of sentimentality or emotionality, “SENTIMENTAL DEFENSE” offers the possibility of returning to the intuitive feeling, be it in art and/or society is open, even to our own.
Egocentric navel-gazing gives us forbidden anthropocentric pleasure, as well as a simple sense of comfort and security. Which means we are still standing, but there is more. Unwarranted need to discover oneself - as an individual, but also as a human species. Unfortunately the image of an individual in our possession is incomplete, and as such distorted. In the world that made so much progress in terms of science and technology, creating new challenges for philosophy and arts, the image of man is still incomplete.
Narcissus spent so much time staring at his own reflection in the water, he nally died from longing. Human history is much more complex, as a species we possess much more tools, which allows us to stare at reflections of ourselves. Pictures shown on a computer screen, or a re reflected image of one’s face in a so-called black mirror allows a completely different relation with oneself, one that’s surprisingly attractive. In some ways that new possibility allows us to think about ourselves in a romantic, sometimes sentimental way. If we are sensitive and empathetic, but also percipient enough to notice that the phone screen is getting warm while we are touching it, we can start to discover our connection with reality in a deeper way.
“We thought there were windows but actually it’s [network] made of mirrors. And in the meantime we are being faced with more and more, not just information, but the world itself. And a very particular world that has already become part of our consciousness. And it wants something. It doesn’t only want to harvest our eyeballs, our attention, our responses, and our feelings. It also wants to condition our minds and bodies to absorb all the richness of the planet’s knowledge”.*
The history of images is told by man. Loo-king closely at the history of art theory it
becomes obvious that the main focus is not on the images themselves, but rather on their creators - the artists. It’s not at all surprising, since despite the various changes in humanistic thought, man has always been the center of his own universe.
The world displayed in post-production software shows us a different dimension, one that is not fully accessible for us. In case of the artists presented in this publication, the inability to see the entire surrounding reality is the starting point to form new views. The awareness of creative possibilities and the freedom of putting new hypotheses makes us realize how big our own role is in defining not only what surrounds us, but also what we consist of.
The tools that allow us to shape our view of the world are not to be neglected. From the beginning, photography was the attempt to stop the motions of the world according to the photographer’s sole discretion. Today we are aware that photography kills its subject, leaving it in the past forever. On the other hand, post-photography looks ahead into the future, appealing to completely new creative ways of shaping and editing reality.
New technologies reveal previously unknown layers of the image. Photography gains its strength when edited and released into the internet. The le drifting in virtual space starts to live its own life, loses quality, multiplies without limits, travels, and often nds new owners. Does the image still needs me, its creator?
The ‘misspellings’ of the image, the intentional misrepresentations, the needless repetitions, the lack of focus and the disorientation, the distortion of literal meanings clears the way for a tender approach to the image, one that hermetically protects that what is the most desired - a simple answer.
Text by / Magdalena Zoledz