“One should not build castles in the air,” our goal-oriented society warns us from chasing futile dreams and illusions. But what can we find in them?
'Nachtluftschlösser'(‘Castles in the night air’) examines the construction of thoughts and realities and the perception of hidden dimensions. The desire to recreate a holographic house from a dream serves as a framework for visual thought constructs in the form of images, installations and projections at night.
The inspiration for the project was a vivid nightmare: In the
dream, I found myself inside a curious home when the walls suddenly
became transparent. As I walked through them to the outside, I
entered another dimension where nothing else existed. There, only
the translucent outline of the building was still visible, glowing
like a hologram. I feared: if I lost sight of this house, would
everything I know cease to exist?
During the residency ‘Silence Awareness Existence’ at Arteles in
Finland, I set out to reconstruct this haunting yet elusive
experience of the dream. Throughout the day, I created
architectural models out of transparent cubes, which became the
source for further images. At night, I projected these onto
different temporary installations I had built in the Finnish
landscape and re-photographed them in the darkness.
“First we must
wash our eyes with darkness to see what we want to see.“
- Thomas Mann, The Magic Mountain
Starting off with the creation of simple cubic forms, the
complexity of the process grew with multiple (re-) construction
steps and the combination of different techniques such as analogue
and digital photography, collages and animations, as well as
projections, models and installations. The project thus interweaves
multiple layers: 2- and 3-dimensionality, light and darkness,
illusion and reality.
The holographic house becomes a metaphor for the mind, a complex
system of interconnected building blocks, both concrete and
fleeting. “If each thing one knows depends on other things one
knows - isn’t that like castles built on air?” Marvin Minsky asks
in his book The Society of Mind.
Is the world we know like a house, solely constructed by our minds? And can we look through the walls of reality?
'Nachtluftschlösser' has been presented at Arteles Creative
Center (Finland, 2022), InCadaqués Photo Festival (Spain, 2022)
and the OD Photo Prize Exhibition in London (UK, 2022).
The project will be shown during Art Rotterdam at the PROSPECTS exhibition in 2023.