Nothing Further Happens, 2011.
Single channel video. Captured in 16mm film throughout Iceland, Svalbard Archipelago, Atacama Desert in Chile, and in White Sands, United States. Sound by composer Ben Frost, Iceland. Duration: 9 mins. 38 secs. Continuous loop.
Nothing Further Happens is a collection of land- and seascapes filmed in the past 5 years in Iceland, Svalbard archipelago in the high arctic, the salt flats in the desert of Atacama in Chile, and White Sands in New Mexico, U.S. The subject is the distant horizon line and the frame locates the ‘line’ exactly half way, creating a symmetrical composition. This equivalence allows for the viewer to experience the sensation of being surrounded only by vast horizons in a complete surrender to spatial infinity. There is a visual ‘emptiness’ that acclimates one’s eye to perceive more precisely inwardly, asserting Immanuel Kant’s insight into the sublime as not so much a formal quality of some natural phenomenon, but as a conception—something that happens in the mind, as an experience of limits.
To a large extent, my work explores the concept of the feeling of the sublime. Spending time, in the middle of the Atacama desert, or in the arctic tundra, I am confronted with the realization that nothing out there wants me to live. Being assailed by that which seems to endanger my survival, I have an experience of all limits. Schopenhauer described the fullest feeling of the sublime as an experience of the immensity of the Universe’s extent or duration, while Lyotard argues that the sublime expresses the edge of our conceptual powers and reveals the multiplicity and instability of the post modern world.
“The contemporary sublime is mostly about immanent transcendence, about a transformative experience that is understood as occurring within the here and now.”
—Simon Morley in ‘The Sublime: Documents of Contemporary Art.’ MIT Press.
Exhibition History: Museum of Contemporary Art, Oaxaca, July 15 – October 03, 2011. Curated by Jorge Contreras, Director, MACO.