Simon Schubert




Simon Schubert

Work from Papierarbeiten.

I saw Schubert’s show yesterday at Upstairs Berlin, and it was quite a treat. The works are made only of folded paper and are remarkable. He is represented by the Kudlek van der Grinten Galerie. On a side note, searching for his website led me again to the phenomonal West Collection and their magnificent holdings (and taste), which one day I hope to be a part of.

“Being. Having been. Becoming.

I- Morning – shadows from the right; evening – shadows from the left. At noon light and shadow may offset each other. What is existence? An instant. What is in it was hitherto not in it and is forthwith no more. Existence as a state is irreal, stirred from all that went before and all that is possible thereafter, and yet neither is in it; the former long dead, the latter perhaps not even germinating. Is there anything conceivable that could be more uncertain? Memories as delusional as expectations. Augustine put his finger on the spot: the past is not, the future is not, the present takes place at the border between the two. Thus the second is (should we think we are immortal) a synonym for eternity. Almost nothing, it is everything. It can expand, virtually. But then nothing is truly rational. Thinking, if it is to justify its name, is fantasizing: becoming aware through fantasizing of what you are, what has come down to you and want to go on having an effect. Naturally you go down no path a second time; even the one you think you know can be a path through hell or through nothingness. Both may be preserved in the universe that we believe we are in. Whatever totality lays claim to implies its opposite. If what happens to us is everything, then it is at the same time nothing. Everything that was is not, everything that will be is not. On the narrow edge to which we cling, nothingness is all.  

II - But then we do experience. How far is our own experience free of what has come down to us, as experience goes and per precept? Who am I beyond any so-called imprinting? Hypotheses: universally valid? And the much-cited thrownness? Life is being, having been, becoming. Experience is the inner acquisition of something by living it through. The great adventure? For everyone? If not, for whom then what? Illuminated, each of those concerned steps into the morning light; at sundown, in shadow, he might step back into the dark. I is another, Rimbaud said; perhaps he was conscious of the dimension of this statement. It holds true for every moment in life independent of the fact that I exist could turn those against me who sit in judgment. Whoever it may be who acts in me and out of me: I know I shall be his witness. Do I know it, should I know it? In ancient scripts there is talk of the sons of God who are to gather before Him. I am not named, but I know, even if I don’t believe, that I am one of them.

III - The objects, the rooms, they seem to persist more. We encounter them; when we depart, we leave them untouched and empty. To us they only seem animated if, bethinking them near or far, we ensoul them. Their felt warmth vanishes with those feeling the warmth. Are they traps, does their emptiness enclose us? What would they proffer if we never asked? Does what is created possess the spirit of him who created it? Can spirit be forced to remain bound to one place? Verily everything is echo, a reaction. We ourselves are what we encounter in the objects, sometimes, for a while, often enough not. Whoever looks, dreams up, visualizes, a picture. Look, look once again, precise and sharp: never is the picture reliable. Every picture is inside, also that of the so-called outside world. World is always that of whomsoever perceives it, from moment to moment, unassured. Nothing can be held onto permanently; all possession is uncertain. You go from room to room, graze the walls, step across thresholds and treads, touch this, release that. And during this while, things feel our weight, our pulse, our radiation. They remain what they are it seems; yet longer is their span, more distant their disappearance. But would they exist at all if there were not the consciousness within which they are? A mirror without there being something to mirror would not be one. But it mirrors everything, even were it nothingness.

from: Papierarbeiten/Paperworks – Simon Schubert, 2007, Meurer Verlag”

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