Original post at : http://arisdrawingproject.blogspot.be/2018/05/as-human-as-knowledge.html
All Images Copyright: Verónica Arís Zlatar
‘AS HUMAN AS KNOWLEDGE’
Arís’ pastels belonging to the project ‘As human as knowledge’ depict the experience of thinking of young women who reflect on their inner temporality. To a woman who had study Philosophy in Chile, Argentina and Belgium, experiencing the slim chance of an authentic thinking within the scholarly field, the return to paying attention to the simplest gesture of reflection on her own must have been impossible in that environment to the point of making her move forward visual art. “Philosophy requires freedom”, she says, “Unfortunately, nowadays Academia cannot offer that. Visual art instead does it, even though it is an alternative scenario for thinking.”
One of her pastels is untitled ‘The simultaneity of phases’. It portrays a simple woman who thinks about some formalizations of the inner temporality of consciousness. The scene seems to talk about a woman that hears elapsing noises around her, by a kind of awareness that helps her to let them go each time they fade down sinking into the past. However, she seems to stay attentive to the beauty of the present though. “Whatever makes us live this kind of temporality” she might think “requires different intentional acts running simultaneously. But what kind of simultaneity is this one, before any time and any temporal object, even before me who reflects on it?”
Through visual art Arís attempts to return to the freedom of thinking; this playful scenario of thoughts in which multiple hypotheses may appear as well as disappear depending on their appurtenance. “We can stay repeating what has been said a hundred years ago, or we can put the problem on the table and see what we want to do with it”, affirms the artist. This way, the paper becomes that table and the act of painting the lively commitment to the question. “The great thing of drawing and painting is that you have to spend a lot of time in addressing one tiny issue in order to give them the material dimension of an image. For instance, I have to find the face that really expresses what I am looking for, I have to try again and again the precise composition to get the one that can be accurate enough in expressing what I want to say and I have to keep an eye on this precise unity of meaning that the different elements will unveil throughout all the production progress. There is no chance to rush from one thought to another as it may happen when we are just conceptualizing. And this extremely slow speed of thinking, which requires an understanding in many levels –not only conceptual–, helps in bringing you to the authentic dimension of the question, i.e., the experience.”
This slow progress of understanding is also displayed by observing the resulting image. At first glance, ‘The simultaneity of phases’ seems to be a very nice portrait of the woman with a pleasant distribution of pastel’s colors and design; but later the unfinished drawing of her body and clothes makes the character dissolve into her insights as if only her flesh would remain true among all the adumbrations of the mind. The tension between her lived body and the nature of thoughts frames the scenario in which the internal time of consciousness takes place. Arís states “somehow I am the character but at the same time I am beyond her.”
How did you make them?
I painted with pastels on Canson paper. Basically, I worked on the flesh that can be seen in the area in which the skin of the character is visible.
Why did you choose to work only on the skin with that detail?
This is a nice question. The topic is about the internal time of consciousness and how we can get to think about it. As you can imagine, this is a very abstract thought that finds its opposite in the warm skin of the character. The time of consciousness is only within an embodied character, which feels and suffers the consequences of the elapsing experience. Time is in her flesh.
This is the first time you show a work in colors. Before you were working with charcoal, right? Which is your approach to colors?
As you can see, I have no much experience with colors, to be honest. However, my train of thought when I paint is to get deeper into the flesh. It is not about coloring nicely, but rather getting the feeling of the skin, its temperature, its texture, its subtlety. I think on a landscape within the skin, in which an unexpected color comes to play poetically. I marvel regarding how much an almost imperceptible change of a pigment can say about the sense of the volume of the body and its bodily conditions. I think that this is what I love of painting. Continue reading “‘As Human as Knowledge’: Visualizing Phenomenology (Verónica Arís Zlatar)”