Preis der Stiftung Kunstakademie
Klasse Pamela Rosenkranz  |  Raum A.O1.11 & Vestibül  |

Ghost to its Story, 2024

The sun catalyzes a dynamic of prominence, between the spaces in which Tatjana Vall’s attunement to the localization of perception1 might be approached - while inhabiting and dishabiting a way of seeing which has been canonized, beginning in the 17th century as the modern production of the image. The moment the camera obscura replaced the retina, belonged to the same moment in which after-image effects, and celestial ghosts2 of sight due to solar exposure from the study of light, became a bypassed paradigm after Kepler’s sunspots and Galileo’s cosmos. The camera obscura became a means of re-locating viewing as a precondition to the viewer, as well as a means of telling the inside in relation to the outside in the realm of human physiology3 and aesthetic theory. The central basin sculptures, Retina Strength and Bright Nights are an amplification of such a camera obscura, mimicking the sun in periods of its natural absence. However, opposed to the mechanically passive presence of the camera obscura, The basin sculptures actively reproduce the logic and conditions of their production [light and time], exposed onto the ceiling of the Vestibule and classroom, as an allegory to the historical retina’s spectral errors, afterimages, and ghosts. Encapsulating Retina Strength are the Swimmers: four laser-inscribed granite plates, subject to refract Retina Strength and Bright Nights’ timelines, as their printed motifs interrelate with layers of integrated minerals. Time is inscribed upon the granite’s surface in the same moment in which the past processes of laser burnt inscription are echoed sonically: Retina Strength’s [sonic] tides have no precise body of origin. Their soundscape centers upon the slow physicality of the Swimmer’s laser burnt temporal fields, inviting in a stereophonic pull for those standing in between the basin and its outreach. The systematical sonar perspiration slowly infiltrates and lingers within the monumentality of the classroom, alluding metronomically to the shaping [and defining] of physical and temporal surfaces.

Ghost to its Story is a ballad to the mass of temporality. Amassing its electric power from periods of sunlight, the installation work, [its sun motor and light] is charged by harvested sunlight. The historic dogma for the sun and the cosmic body as such, is for Vall a surface of projection for other, [inner] conflicts. In order to approach these conflicts, they must be separated from that [the body] which approaches and interrogates them, as they abject, in Kristeva’s terms4, the self. Through the human establishment of apparatuses and tools, the subject-object relationship has been tested for truth and insight via distance and abstraction. Yet the body itself has often distressed this relationship - for that which can be mediated, addressed, and gazed at indirectly, is but a refraction of a black sun, which blinds, but does not lend itself to the realm of the real.


Text: Ilinca Fechete