Il traverso della luce

2004, Loža Gallery, Koper, Slovenia

Andrej Medved

The project Transposition of Light set up by Uršula Berlot is about a Platonic reminiscence in the sense of the internalization of beauty. The key function in this is reflexion reflected by a mirror as »Spiegelung in Spiegel«, which is not a repetitive and never changing pattern of a nostalgia. The repetition is linked to a memory, which is determined – limited – with artistic truth. The point of view adopted by Miss Berlot is not far away from a romantic image of an artist, as described by F. Schiller in his letters Ueber die Aestetische Erziehung des Menschen: Der Mensch spielt nur, wo er in voller Bedeutung des Worts Mensch ist, und er ist nur da ganz Mensch, wo er spielt /15 pismo/. The romantic position of an artist is an approach of pure playing, a conscious loss od purpose, which Nietzsche links to an »active nihilism«; this is not only a conscious knowledge about a loss of purpose, but especially the acting out of this loss, as says Lyotard in his book about the conditions of modernism.

Uršula Berlot upgrades the image with a psychic internalizing, Einfuhlung; she entirely sets aside any present or past reality, namely the temporal, empiric limitations as well as any sort of abstraction, which modern theoretics so often consider to be sublime. The event represented in the work of art is not of descriptive kind, as it is not connected to realistic knowledge; the picturesque gives place to the symbolic. Emerging in front of us are materialized ideas, the palpable world falls apart and the spiritual one comes alive in the pure shining of light. Voiceless and visionary matter, like a poetic vision, is now melting in forms, which have nothing to do with the reality, neither with irrealistic processes in our subconsciousness. It creates in us a comfort, which makes us feel as if these were ancient images of an ideal world, sublime states, inaccessible by our smell, touch and eyesight, merely sensed by our interior eye. These are not only personal expressive images, or symbols, eventhough they are felt to be symbolic projections of the spirit. To an even lesser degree can we consider them to be a psychologic, dramatic experience, but the only possible realization of the ideas in the form of images, which are infinitely far away from everyday experience. Light penetrates through glass and artistic images in the only possible way; thus, the distinction between nature and mental image is lost. In front of us, there’s an infinity of the sublime light in its full splendour. Nature now no longer refers to work, all that matters is a subjective vision and the way it is represented. Fantasy is actually not very important, the feeling that the images are following one another throughout the creative work of Uršula Berlot is obvious indeed. One can speak of a metonimic representation of the artist, which isn’t linked to a specific place or a section cut out of the visible world, but is rooted in a metaphoric way of life, in an intentional pre-subjective knowledge.

The content of these images is not tied to feelings of horror and fear, anxiousness or darkness, brought on by feelings of emptyness and silence, which threatens anyone standing in front of the picture. The emptyness and silence indeed make part of the atmosphere, however they are not of anxious and obscure type. The sublime of these images doesn’t touch upon the emotional functioning; in seeing them we are not pervaded by futility of the world or sadness or melancoly. All that matters is the beauty of ideal dreams. The sublime landscape therefore doesn’t stand for a dangerous, all encompassing, dark, fierce reality, which would dramatically influence our emotions, it rather represents a sort of absolute, pre-objective world, which can’t do us any harm, since it reflects its own interior truth as a special state of an absolute spirit.

We can only speak about a new understanding, a new concept brought to life by an artist, who is not intent on the exterior, but rather on the „interior eye“, when all the material, empiric reality is wiped out and the presented things remain just a metaphor of the artist’s experience. The image hortus conclusus is a closed holy space, realizable only in our spirit; an upside-down picture of an out-of this-world image of the psyche in which every dualism between the corporal and the soul is in fact attributed a different value.