The true picture of the past flits by. The past can be seized only as an image which flashes up at the instant when it can be recognized and is never seen again. - W. Benjamin, Thesis on the Philosophy of History
Balance is most beautiful just before it collapses. - Fischli and Weiss, Quiet Afternoon series
oil on canvas, 2021
The paintings give away a sense of impending collapse fixed in time. The moment just before the action, the change, that last stage of transition anchored in a beautiful, yet fragile moment that given our experience, we understand as a moment. However, that moment may last longer.
The more traditional medium for capturing a moment is photography. It seizes time and space and therefore immortalizes a certain moment. However, since a photograph traditionally represents a documentation of time (and space), or more accurately, of the past, the action that ensues is already determined, as it already happened. Although we may not know the outcome, we know for certain that there was one.
On the other hand, the paintings that imply the moment just before are not passive and are in constant motion as they do not posses that one possibility or outcome. They pose questions and offer opportunities for what might come next. They break the wall of the unforeseeable, the other and welcome and anticipate the possibilities the next moment holds. There can be infinite possibilities or none whatsoever.
If a photograph can somehow seize time, can a painting expand it and offer more opportunities?