In search of the unknown
18 February 2020
Simone Mudde, RGBCMYBGR (2018), Triptych of Three Unique Photographs
I entered the dark again
With no sense of time
Like a blind man, touching my surroundings
Without a camera Unreachable and disconnected
There is something uneasy about the state of the unknown. There is a problem or a question that remains unresolved. One of the reasons for this state of unease is our tendency to opt for the familiar instead of the unfamiliar. As a child you do not have much to worry about; the world is one big, unknown landscape and you have no need to hold back on exploring your curiosities. Growing older, we realise that we have less control in our lives, and we replace such feelings with a need for security. We lose a bit of our childlike curiosity.
Though we lose some of that curiosity, humans live in a constant state of discovery. With the potential to find answers via a few mouse clicks, lots of our questions get resolved quickly. In order to really find the unknown, we have to look for things that are more elusive. As artists we have to look a little further to enter a ‘state of wonder’.
As an artist, you create your own domain by placing yourself in the right circumstances to make your work, whether in regard to equipment, atmosphere or geography. By creating the right conditions, the artist prepares the ground on which they might stumble. In the act of the craft a frustration with one of the circumstances can arise. Imagination is nothing but decaying sense.
Simone Mudde, Colour research in the darkroom
That is why I spend some of my days flipping little squares of paper in the pitch black of the darkroom. I started doing this to learn and understand how colours work in the colourless darkroom. In the darkroom things work in reverse. The longer there is light, the darker an image will be. Green becomes magenta and blue is actually yellow. It is sort of like the ‘Upside Down’ described in Stranger Things: A dark mirror antimatter version of our world. Luckily the photographic darkroom is not inhospitable and dangerous to humans, although the chemicals are not great for your health. With everything opposing my expectations I’m in a place where I can play around and find the boundaries of my materials–never knowing what is hiding in the dark…
Simone Mudde, Elusive Blues 2019, Series of 10 Unique Photograms, Exhibited at “Where You are Not”, Copeland Gallery