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O toi que j’eusse aim e e, o toi qui le savais

zaljubljencem: naj bo njihov svet brez mej


Pri O toi que j’eusse aimee, o toi qui le savais sta bila uporabljena dva prstna odtisa (ženin in moj), ki sta se skenirala in pretvorila v monokromen bitni način zapisa računalniške grafike (bitmap format oziroma BMP), pri katerem je vsaka pika/črta sled na zaslonu (oziroma opazovani ploščici) zapisana z biti oziroma zgolj s številčnim zapisom sestavljenim iz ničel (0) ter enk (1). Ta grafika se z elektronskim mikroskopom oziroma s curkom elektronov zariše na polimer, ki je nanešen na silicijevi ploščici. Nato se ploščico opere v raztopini (monomer), ki odstrani površine, ki niso bile izpostavljene snopu elektronov. Polimer se v nadaljevanju ni naparil z zlatom, kot je to običajen postopek, ampak se ga je še naprej opazovalo z elektronskim mikroskopom, pri čemer so curki elektronov povzročali, da je podoba počasi propadala.

Pri umetniškem projektu O toi que j’eusse aimee, o toi qui le savais, se uporablja tehnika nanolitografije, ki na praktičnem primeru omogoča krnjenje podobe z neprestanim gledanjem (zrtjem). Izhodišče je teoretski koncept Walterja Benjamina ter njegove ideje krnjenja avre iz eseja Umetnina v času, ko jo je mogoče tehnično reproducirati (Das Kunstwerk in Zeitalter seiner Technischen Reproduzierbarkeit, 1935/1939). Nanolitografija je bila narejena v sodelovanju z laboratorijem F7: odsekom za kompleksne snovi na Inštitutu Jožef Štefan v Ljubljani poleti 2009, z vodjem odseka prof. dr. Draganom Mihailovićem in fizikom Boštjanom Berčičem.

Oblikovno izhodišče, ki reartikulira polje nanolitografije, je slika Snežni metež v snegu slikarja Ivana Groharja. Slika z naslovom Snežni metež v Škofji Loki ter tudi Škofja Loka v snegu je bila naslikana leta 1905 v tehniki oljnih barv na platno, dimenzij 87 x 99 cm. Danes je slika del zbirke v Narodni galeriji v Ljubljani in je last Moderne galerije. Slika na izjemen način briše prostorske meje in megli obrisne linije stavb v okolici glavnega trga. Po pričevanju naj bi Grohar pri slikanju želel ujeti trenutek med padanjem dežja in počasnim spreminjanjem v padanje snega. Za mehčanje mej na krajinski sliki je uporabljal slikarsko lopatico in ploskovite zaključne nanose barve, odslikane podobe se tako ploščijo in izginjajo.

Pripovedno izhodišče je izmišljena zgodbica, ki želi povezati tako občutek tišine Groharjeve slike, občutek prisotnosti in spomina, kot tudi Benjaminov pojem avre: »nenavadni splet prostora in časa enkratni obris daljave, pa naj bo še tako bližnja« (Benjamin: Kleine Gesichithte der Photographie, 1931). Zgodba je v originalu napisana v angleščini. za lekturo sem hvaležen jani putrle srdić in Sunčanu Patricku Stonu, ki sta moje nerodnosti popravila.

Zoran Srdić Janežič

O toi que j’eusse aimee, o toi qui le savais I’m looking through the window and writing this story from memory. As I’m looking out the window I notice that the rain has turned to snow. This reminded me of the era of old televisions, when a snow of electrons appeared on the screen as soon as the program was over. I have certain questions, but they are not directly related to this image. It is an emotion that comes over me and I wonder: where does something begin and where does it end? And, what remains? Perceiving the reminiscences of an event as present, as if there was no past, no future. The everlasting experience in the mind, sometimes embraced in the body of things or their appearances. The idea can ascend and descend, but it can also linger, written or drawn on a piece of paper or filmed and uploaded to the Web. The present can emerge from the past when we feel attracted to an event over and over again. Repetitious moments, memories. But is there a familiar moment that could somehow belong to the past, and yet never had happened? Can we find someone familiar even before we are acquainted? And, of course, when the present becomes the past and the present is already in the future, that moment is long gone, but it has its own life in the hidden memories or in a different life form. Similar to when we recognize an unknown face in the street. I read an article a while ago, and it explained that love at first sight doesn’t exist, but that we can fall hopelessly in love at the last sight and on what remains of it. This brings to mind Baudelaire’s poem which describes this perfectly: I remember it was a nice day. I was hanging out with my friend Steve as she walked past. She was walking down the empty street, effortlessly remaining its focal point, drawing the gazes of everybody.

À une passante

To a Woman Passing By

La rue assourdissante autour de moi hurlait. Longue, mince, en grand deuil, douleur majestueuse, Une femme passa, d’une main fastueuse Soulevant, balançant le feston et l’ourlet;

The deafening road around me roared. Tall, slim, in deep mourning, making majestic grief, A woman passed, lifting and swinging With a pompous gesture the ornamental hem of her garment,

Agile et noble, avec sa jambe de statue. Moi, je buvais, crispé comme un extravagant, Dans son oeil, ciel livide où germe l’ouragan, La douceur qui fascine et le plaisir qui tue. Un éclair... puis la nuit! — Fugitive beauté Dont le regard m’a fait soudainement renaître, Ne te verrai-je plus que dans l’éternité? Ailleurs, bien loin d’ici! trop tard! jamais peut-être! Car j’ignore où tu fuis, tu ne sais où je vais, Ô toi que j’eusse aimée, ô toi qui le savais! — Charles Baudelaire

Swift and noble, with statuesque limb. As for me, I drank, twitching like an old roué, From her eye, livid sky where the hurricane is born, The softness that fascinates and the pleasure that kills, A gleam. then night! O fleeting beauty, Your glance has given me sudden rebirth, Shall I see you again only in eternity? Somewhere else, very far from here! Too late! Perhaps never! For I do not know where you flee, nor you where I am going, O you whom I would have loved, O you who knew it! — Geoffrey Wagner, Selected Poems of Charles Baudelaire (NY: Grove Press, 1974) (Poems copied from the following site:http://www.

I noticed her beautiful designer clothes swinging in slow motion and at that moment I saw her non-existence – as a non-image in the centre of Grohar’s painting of Škofja Loka in the snow. It was a sunny day, but her shining white dress pushed everything else into the periphery of sight. She passed by, turned back and looked directly into my eyes before strolling away. I could feel some sort of a connection, as if I had known her for ages. Of course, I didn’t know her and she didn’t actually look into my eyes during this first non-contact. It was a lost gaze, which I understood at the time as an intentional non-intentional look. I continued talking, however Steve noticed her and called her. As I have already mentioned, it was a nice sunny day, perfect for sitting outside, where the empty tables attracted the passers-by. She was a young physics researcher. She had just returned from a foreign exchange program. “Hello,” she said as she looked at me: “My name is Rebecca.” Steve was already picking up his things, ready to leave. “See you in few days. I just have to … (he mumbled), but I think it’s already ok.” “It’s ok. Could you please wait with the photos from the exhibition?” “Are you exhibiting at the moment?” she asked. “Yes, at the Z Gallery.” “Oh, that’s a nice place. One of the best in Ljubljana. I would like to see the exhibition if still possible.” “It’s open until the end of the month, but if you want a guided tour by the artist we can meet up at some stage and I’ll show you around.”

It was a week later. She dropped by as I was leading a public presentation of my exhibition, and she listened attentively from the back. I noticed her. Images of her, passing in that street a moment before we met, flashed in front of my eyes while I was talking. I wasn’t imagining them, it seemed that the image from the first time I saw her truly appeared in front of my eyes. Her image was imprinted on my pupils. Or maybe I merely remember her that way, as a ghost in my memories, now that I’m writing this down. But then again, somehow, I just knew that my emotion was right. She was there in the pupil of my eye. She was wearing the same clothes as she did in my memory. She was dressed all in white, shining like a light bulb. And I remembered Baudelaire’s poem: O toi que j’eusse aimee, o toi qui le savais – it is you, who I might have loved and in the last sight, before you disappear, you know that too. As I started to recite this poem everybody who was on the guided tour left, her being the sole exception. We went for a drink. We sat at the Art History Café between Impressionism and Naturalistic Symbolism. It was surprisingly empty for the time of day. Maybe there was a large crowd, but I remember the space as empty. In my memory the space seemed as if it was prepared for the two of us to perform alone. She made some nice observations about my work, such as that it was big and composed of images. Also, she thought it was full of emotions, and that it carried some sort of sentimentality. Then she asked how I came across the idea of creating it.

I could talk about this for ages: I have a tendency to start working with a particular visual content that I find in the newspapers, on posters, etc. I toy with images of someone’s idea to have an image. An image to communicate, share or remember. I considered this exhibition to be about trying to understand the notion of touch. Visual perception comes at a certain moment, when it has to perceive the palpability without physical tactility. My main reference was a poster that advertised a mobile phone application for the early touch screen mobile phones. It was a graphic design for an application which asked you to place your finger on the touchscreen and the app created an artificial fingerprint. In the second phase the application asked you to share your fingerprint with a person you liked. When the second person created a simulated fingerprint, it appeared on top of the first one, and the application started analysing how much the two fingerprints have in common. The result would usually show that the two fingerprints have between 80 and 100% in common. For my exhibition I collected approximately 200 fingerprints and user profiles from various social networks, of course, I only used data from individuals who wanted to participate in my exhibition. I mixed them up, looking at their profile, and studying what kind of games they play and what interests they have. I created random pairs and send them directions which games they have to play together, as well as told them to build a website, blog or a forum together, and eventually I

told them what kind of restaurant, movie, trips, etc., they should attend. After a year of my project approximately 70 % of the couples were still together. I exhibited the documentation they sent me and their testimonials at the end of the project – their lives at that time. ‘’Don’t you think it’s a bit perverse, running their lives like this?’’ she asked. “Of course I do. In this project I was trying to determine the role of art and the artist. But keep in mind they agreed to be a part of this project, and they gave me their pictures and descriptions. If they would at any point feel that I was interfering with their privacy too much, they could stop participating in the project. I didn’t expect anybody to actually stay in the project for a year and I’m speaking of a community of people that I really didn’t know back then. I guess they rely on me as an artist to be better than a fingerprint phone application.’’ “What about falling in love?” “That is the point. They don’t need me or a phone app. These apps only exist because they prefer to leave the responsibility of living together either to a phone app or a perfect stranger.” “Falling in love is not the same?” “Well, we don’t know. Maybe they did fall in love eventually and evolve their relationship into a more sustainable form of mutual understanding and respect. Falling in love is eventually falling, a resignation of perception. Whether they fell in love or not, they did this because of themselves and not because of my art.”

“Yes, but still …” I asked her about her research field and she replied: “I’m interested in nanotechnology. But let’s not talk about my research. I’m happy to be here with you.’’ “Holidays have just started. Have you made any plans?” “I am going to India. I am flying out tomorrow.” “Are you travelling alone?” She looked at me and smiled. “I was just asking… I didn’t want to …” I stared at my cup of coffee. “You’re right. I’m travelling alone. I don’t have anybody to go with me, not even a dog or a cat.” “I’m sure it can’t be that hard to find a pet.” I started laughing. She also started laughing. I showed her my new mobile phone. I still haven’t figured out how to use the camera, but somehow she managed it. I recorded a short video. Once she flew to India I watched this video over and over again on my laptop. She looked at the mobile phone for a while, smiled, looked away and then back. Over and over again. The image didn’t change as I watched it repeatedly, but maybe I was changing. Sometimes we define art as Walter Benjamin defined the aura of an artwork as the unique phenomenon of distance, no matter how close or distant it may be. If one’s gaze follows a mountain range on the horizon or a branch casting a shadow, he can experience the aura of

those mountains or of that branch. Many artists are afraid that the aura of the artwork will decay if it is mechanically reproduced, while others believe that mechanical reproduction will actually increase the aura. The perception of an image can be present more or less at the same time. But the aura is more like falling in love. It is not the mountain, nor the branch. It is more like a relationship. A person can be far away, but the distance doesn’t matter. The emotion is present whatever the distance. After coffee we went out, we walked and talked, saw an old movie, and then walked and talked some more. Later that night I wished her a safe trip, she hugged me and rushed to catch the bus. I saw her waving even after the bus had disappeared.

I started preparing for a new exhibition and I contacted my schoolmate, a chemist, who was working with nanotubes: ‘’I have been thinking of creating a small-scale artwork, and I thought of you, and how you told me light can melt nanotubes.’’ ‘’Electrons in an electron microscope illuminate, similar to light. However, at the moment it’s hard to create an image with them. Their ends have melted because I was observing them directly, I didn’t cover them with a thin gold coat that would stop them from melting. I don’t remember if I explained this. As I recall we were talking about the sun and how strong the light is.’’ ‘’Is it possible to create an image on such a small scale?’’

‘’Of course it is. With the same microscope. Now there are more powerful microscopes out there, but 100µm should be small enough for your needs.’’ ‘’I thought I would like to create an image of my fingerprint.’’ ‘’Why?’’ ‘’I’m interested in two things. Firstly, I believe it would be hard to find an image created on such a small scale.’’ ‘’Actually, 100µm is not so small and I could make markers that would make it easier to find.’’ ‘’If you’d create an image of a fingerprint, would it be possible to add some other person’s image to it?’’ ‘’It would. If you ask me, the best solution would be to leave the image I would make with the electron microscope as it is and not cover it with the thin gold layer. Then, theoretically, if somebody else would create another image, he could add it directly onto the material I used. But as I explained before, if you’ll stare at the image through the electron microscope it will become deformed with time.’’ A week later I received a small plate with the image of my fingerprint and a CD. I took it out of the envelope, put it in a new one that I made from paper-mâché and sent it to Rebecca. A month later I received a letter. The address was not handwritten, instead it was printed on a white sticker which made me slightly anxious. I returned home, where I discovered that the envelope

contained the plate I had sent off a month ago. The plate came with an explanation, so I contacted my friend. I handed him the envelope and he opened it. ‘’I think it’s still not covered. If you want you can add another image or you can cover it with a thin layer of gold.’’ ‘’I don’t think that will be necessary. It’s only a small project.’’ After a few minutes that seemed to last for almost an eternity, I saw the image on display. I could see my fingerprint and I noticed its corner was covered by a smaller fingerprint. If my finger would be there for scale, hers would be half the size of mine. This meant something. And this new print was partly on mine and partly off, free, on its own. ‘’The idea is to observe something that disintegrates because you watch it.’’ ‘’You mean you are able to see the image through the electrons, but at the same time they are also deforming it.’’ ‘’Yes. Can I look at this for a while? I promise to keep out of your way.’’ ‘’I’ll leave you to it. Just don’t touch anything.’’ ‘’You know me. I’m merely an observer.’’ I remained there observing the image for a couple of hours, thinking whether there was a message behind it. As I was looking at

the image it became greyer and paler. I looked through the window. The sun was setting. The image was fading... I took the CD with the scanned images. Reproductions can last much longer than an original work. It’s like that poem: For I do not know where you flee, nor you where I am going, O you whom I would have loved, O you who knew it.

Naslov: O toi que j’eusse aimee, o toi qui le savais Avtor: Zoran Srdić Janežič Angleška lektura: Sunčan Partick Stone, Jana Putrle Srdić Izdelava nanolitografije: Boštjan Berčič Svetovanje: Dragan Mihailović F7: odsek za kompleksne snovi na Inštitutu Jožef Štefan v Ljubljani izhodišče umetniškega projekta: snežni metež: izginjanja Leto izdelave: 2009

Produkcija: Zavod za sodobne umetnosti in kulture Gulag Urednica: Jana Putrle Srdić Tisk: Camera Naklada: 300 izvodov 2018

O que j’eusse aimee, o toi qui le savais  

O que j’eusse aimee, o toi qui le savais is an artbook of interdisciplinary project in the field of nanolithography from 2009. Book is final...

O que j’eusse aimee, o toi qui le savais  

O que j’eusse aimee, o toi qui le savais is an artbook of interdisciplinary project in the field of nanolithography from 2009. Book is final...