On Space (s)

On November 30, 2012 by admin



Ronojoy Sircar

This screen is space. Moving in and out of this space, are these words as they are being written/read right here and now. These words form a direction. Not just a path, seeing that this is not a metaphor, but has begun to move beyond that. These words are signals; flares, shooting off into the night sky. This sky is space.




Bodies within space




Fig. 1. Klaus Rinke, Time-Space-Body and Action.

There are two bodies. There is a clock. The viewer, forever entering the picture, finds him/herself locked out – at standstill, like the clock, like the bodies, caught in motion, caught in space.








Fig. 2. Klaus Rinke, Vertical.

There is no space, without time. The man’s held hands, hold time by its spine. He is tensed, for time constitutes tension. Time splitting space in two, is tension. The breath, held back, speaks in time of silences, in time with silence.







Fig. 3. Geof Kern, Midtown Exit.

A camera on an arch, balanced between the sky and the ground, looks on, along with the traffic below, as a man – possibly a salesman – floats across the Manhattan skyline forming questions, along his way, in minds, still caught between the cityscape – is he happy though?  No faces were turned, but many were raised. Balloons, the color of the sky, in the colorlessness of this view, are transporting subversion of space into moments of suspension – of belief, and of laws.






Fig. 4. Geof Kern, Untitled (man leap-frogging over another man).

A man looks down, as another questions the importance of standing still, when standing still itself, is being within fingers distance from jumping over. These figures are rotating. This is but one frame, of reference. To catch a moment in space is after all, to capture it.



Bodies without space



Fig. 5. Helena Almeida, Voar (Fly).

Balanced to fall, flight itself unhinges towards falling, connected only by the desire to fly. Truth speaks, at the moment of contact, revealing the ill kept secret – there was no flight, there was always flight. Slanted towards the ground the body learnt to fly.






Screen Inhabited, 1976  Helena Almeida



Fig. 6. Helena Almeida, Screen Inhabited.

A blank slate and film stretched across its frames. There is no such thing as blank space. Moving towards the frames and ripping the illusion of space, in one steady movement captured in frames of collected moments, she walks away with her prize. The space refilling, appears the same, bridging the gap between longing and getting, and thus forever changed. This is a movement from within, to without.






Fig. 7. Francesca Woodman, Then at one point I did not need to translate the notes; they went directly to my hands.

The hands stretched out on the wall; create gaps, as the body attempts to submerge. Drowning is always an option.







Fig. 8. Francesca Woodman, Untitled.

Turning in circles, but losing sight of what’s spinning in reality – the body, or the space; differences ceasing to matter within the attempts to disappear – space becoming the body, the body moving towards becoming  space.

At the closing, the flares disappearing beyond the horizon of appearances – of contrasts – leave images lasting but a fraction as long as the flares themselves, thriving on the contrast created between light, and the darkness; the foreground, and its background; bodies, and space. The image fades, while these words continue to unfold (here in this moment) – recording space within memory. Memory is a space.



Almeida, Helena. Screen Inhabited. 1976. Photograph. Private collection.

Voar. Perf. Helena Almeida. Galeria Helga Avelar, Madrid. 2001. Performance.

Kern, Geof. Midtown Exit. 1991. Photograph. Private collection.

_________ Untitled (man leap-frogging over another man). 1999. Photograph. Private collection.

Rinke, Klaus. Time-Space-Body and Action. 1972. Photograph. Gallery L’Attico, Rome

__________  Vertical. 1972. Photograph. Private collection.

Woodman, Francesca. Untitled. 1976. Photograph. Private collection.

__________________ Then at one point I did not need to translate the notes; they went directly to my hands. 1976. Photograph. San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, California.


Ronojoy Sircar is in the MPhil programme in English at Jamia Milia Islamia, New Delhi.


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