Plant Maps, 2013 Casabianca, Bologna, curated by Gino Gianuizzi
Minimum phenomenal analysis
The mapping is one of the most common metaphorical operations nowadays in contemporary art; an action that produces an imprint as well as an archive of reality. Plant maps, the work of Gedske Ramløv for Casabianca, insist on two simple and fundamental principles: the submersion and the mapping of the natural reality. Starting from a typographical procedure that sees the winter vegetation as a matrix from wich obtain prints on canvas, the artist has created photografical impressions using as chemical process, rainwater and carbon black. The images appear to be sinopies in style of compendiario of a submerged microcosmos of various plants. The work of Ramløv closes in an orded set of ten cavases, a not yet ordered taxonomy of plant elements. The vegetation, the nature, the imagined landscape are living beyond the surface of the works of art and is merely evoked within the panes of the operas. A reflection on the confines of their arbitrariness and flexibility; a minimal representation that demonstrates, even in its fragility, how systems created by man – the maps – are simply formal impositions.
Gedske Ramløv brings art into nature and she does it assuming the ethical responsibilities; with phenomenological attention for the smallest matters. Silent images that evoke the ticking of the rain.
Fieldwork - Project imprintRiver
All rivers lead to the sea
…where water meets its form…
Work in progress
As the water is complying its course down by the slopes of the mountains it is following the shape of the rocks that for millions of years has been modelled by the falling water.
A collision between present and eternity…
-through the raw fields of springtime, now liberated by the melting snow, the force of the defrosted water, has graven furrows as a miniature Grand Canyon; a parallel microcosmo, with rivers, rocks and caves, immediately populated by insects and macro invertebrates-
Imprint of newborn oak tree
detail of Plant Maps. Technique: cotton-fabric, carbon black pigment, rain, time…
(Casabianca, Bologna - 2013)
Plant Maps - 2013 Casabianca, Bologna. Curated by Gino Gianuizzi
The same that often appear, stylized, to represent nature, the real one, in the sacred paintings from the late Gothic to the Renaissance.
Captured, condensed, crystallized and immortalized in a moment of the season in which the landscape, waiting for the awakening, is limited to essentials of humble appearance…details prevail.
Traces of plants ‘fixed’ on fabric, sometimes with almost radiographic similarities, as scientific findings; maps of plants created exclusively by the weather, by the beating of the rain and the weight of the snow. Traces generated by the known, apparent, chaos of the constant elements of the cold season.
Prints for ‘studying’, as in a herbarium ‘a impressione’ (as those realized with a method that consisted in sprinkling a plant with carbon black, which was then pressed between two sheets, leaving its mark).
‘Constellations of plants’ that refers to the firmament.
More on ‘li’ (The texture of life)
“[….] the Chinese did not even have a word corresponding to the idea of Western classical “law of nature”. The term that most approaches is the li, [….] “principle of organisation” and makes the following observations:
in its most ancient acceptation, it indicated the structure of things, the grain of jade or fibers in a muscle. Acquired the meaning “principle”, commonly given to it by the dictionary, but always retained the sense, by implication, of “structure”. It is implicit in the concept of “law”, but it is a law to which the parts must comply fully because of their very existence as parts of the whole. The most important thing to say about the parts, is, that they must fit exactly in place, together with the other parts, in the perfect organism that they compose.”
“Li is a natural and unavoidable law of situations and things… The significance of “natural and unavoidable”, is that the situations (human) and things (natural), are made so, as to fit exactly in place. The meaning of the “law” lies in the fact, that they adapt to their place without the smallest excess or defect. The ancient man, investigating things to the extreme, and discovering the li, wanted to explain the natural and unavoidable of situations (human) and of tings (natural), and this simply means that, what they were looking for, were all the exact locations, were things fit together precisely. Only this…”
Ch’en Shun (1200 A.D.)
from “The Tao of Physics” Fritjof Capra, gli Adelphi 1989.
Mimesis and the pleasure of imitation
“In some respects, the limits of interpretation are the limits of knowledge, in the same way in which the boundaries of imagination are the limits of knowledge. Think of the way that a child can play with a stick: the stick can be a horse, a lance, a rifle, a doll, a wall, a boat, an airplane; it is an universal toy. But for the child to perform his acts of imaginative reconstruction, two cognitive conditions must be satisfied. The first, of course, is to know, that the stick is not a horse, or a spear, or a doll. This is again the aristotelian argument, according to which, to be able to experience the pleasure, that is supposed to come from the game, the child must know, that the stick is not actually what it pretends to be in the game. Here there is only one limit, I think, to fiction or imagination: the child can not pretend that the stick is a stick. The other kind of limits is more immediately important. In order for a child to pretend or imagine that a stick is a horse, he must know something about horses, and the limits of his knowledge are the limits of the game. This is a variation of the other thesis of Aristotle on cognitive constraints of imitation, namely to experience pleasure from imitation you must know the original.”
from The Transfiguration of the Commonplace. A Philosophy of Art. Arthur C. Danto, 2008, Editori Laterza.
…These thoughts gave me the cue to make a small reflection on the ‘pleasure’ of imitation, that I think is common to everyone, whether you imitate yourself or you see imitation visually.
My startingpoint was ‘imitation’ in art; the fact that ‘recognising’ the object or the dynamics in a work of art, being, in a certain way, a representations of life, gives you a direct pleasure, almost regardless to the execution of the artwork.
But starting my inference from a wider point of view, I soon ended up with the conclusion, that it is all due to our biological instinct of survival:
to feel pleasure our senses are activated…
What function have the senses? They let us experience and learn about our environment in order to comprehend the world, with all its discrepancy, to be able to adapt to it and, in certain cases, defend ourselves from it.
Which all leads to the ultimate purpose: to survive…
Being an inherent necessity, nature gave us the pleasure to learn, and it seems that the sense of the sight has a very strong position among the senses:
“All humans naturally tends to know. A sign of this, is the love for the sensations: in fact, they love the sensations in themselves, also independently of their usefullness, and, more than anything they love the sensation of sight: in fact, not only for the purpose of action, also without having any intension to act, we prefer to see, in a certain sense, to all other sensations. The reason is, that the sight makes it possible to know more than any other sensation and makes obvious a great number of differences between things.”
Aristotle in “Metaphysics” edited by Giovanni Reale, Bompiano, 2000 Milano.
Collaboration between man and nature:
the one projects the structure and the other makes it living…
This French gardener is inserting dormant willow whips into the ground and weaving the tops into a lattice. They will root come spring and this will become a free living fence.
Organic Farming Research Foundation.