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1959

COPYRIGHT ASSOCIAÇÃO CULTURAL «O MUNDO DE LYGIA CLARK»


1959

1959

From this preoccupation with the way the edge of the surface-picture was connected to the surrounding space, there emerged a group of works to which I gave the name “Modulated Space” and “Unity”. FIG 8 These are wholly black surfaces. There is a white line which now cuts them vertically or horizontally, now frames them. This surface-picture was my attempt to express a Moving Space. The only purpose of geometric surface, in fact, is as the abstract basis (the shape data) of the developing surface-picture. The line, incessantly annulling itself and appearing again, is like a light line. Fig. 8-A, 8-B - Lift up the page vertically, and you will be able to observe the light line standing apart from the surface of the page

COPYRIGHT ASSOCIAÇÃO CULTURAL «O MUNDO DE LYGIA CLARK»


1959

COPYRIGHT ASSOCIAÇÃO CULTURAL «O MUNDO DE LYGIA CLARK»


1959

Space-modulated 6 – Lines absolutely equal, horizontal and vertical together produce an oblique strain, distorting two perfect squares: the space then there is revealed as the time of its surroundings. In Modulated Space No.6, FIG 9, I noticed that the two squares were twisted about the middle square. Diagonals as a rule act as motive forces within the surface painting. Here, however, diagonals are no longer necessary, space proper creating these forces. From this I deduced that completely horizontal and vertical straight lines generate between them a slanting power which can pull two perfect squares out of shape and turn the surface of a square into something thick, which I called the ‘edge of space’. The solid shapes which were designed in the previous group of works, now appear again as thickness. What I then saw brought the Moebius strip to life to me, where previously I had only understood the idea of it intellectually.

COPYRIGHT ASSOCIAÇÃO CULTURAL «O MUNDO DE LYGIA CLARK»


1959

The Moebius strip is made, of course, with a narrow ribbon-length of some material. I spent hour upon hour at night playing with a piece of string, trying to make a Moebius strip out of it. I confirmed, to my own surprise, that this as just was not possible, since the Moebius variant of space cannot be created from the space of a piece of string. That is to say, the “edge” is not the thickness of space but the plane, no matter how narrow. The topological space of the Moebius strip is a scission within actual space, or in other words the ‘thread’ through this space. A line can only be the ‘thread through space’ when actually touching outer space. Time and space proper are one and same: the two are distinct only when volume is considered as simple geometrical space and not as a process-surface. A twist changes a surface (thickness of space) into the ‘thread’ of the same space. (Fig 10A). The spatial thread is made by twisting point A to meet point A and B to B. Put a Moebius strip on a flat surface, and you will see the crossing of the vertical with the horizontal, without, however, the actual intersecting point that a cross normally has. (fig. 10 B) Try it out for yourself. In Modulated Space No.6 (which was Fig 9) the form of the twisted figure (see Fig 10C) suggests that of the Moebius strip. The surface-painting is seen as an effect of space around it and a moment of its existence in time.

COPYRIGHT ASSOCIAÇÃO CULTURAL «O MUNDO DE LYGIA CLARK»


1959

COPYRIGHT ASSOCIAÇÃO CULTURAL «O MUNDO DE LYGIA CLARK»


1959

The flat surface is man’s invention. I felt the instability of the flat surface when I carried out this experiment. I took two equal circles, one on top of the other, and cut them along a radius. Then, with sellotape, I joined an edge of the cut in the top circle to the opposite edge of the cut in the bottom circle. The, holding firm the free cut edge of the lower circle, I bent the free cut edge of the top circle under this circle itself, pushing round in a circular motion until it passed under the first circle and the two circles were flat on top of each other again. Fig. 11 - Take the circle structure out and try the experiment yourself

COPYRIGHT ASSOCIAÇÃO CULTURAL «O MUNDO DE LYGIA CLARK»


1959

In looking at an almost complete circle, within a surface painting (its space in this case being a demonstrative space) one tends visually to close the circle. (Gestalt law) (FIG 12A) When we have an almost complete circle with an outline of a light line in actual space, the circle does not tend to close itself to us, as we suggested above, because ends of the light line perceptively distort the surface of the circle. Now pick up the circle from Fig 12B and match this against the previous experiment.

COPYRIGHT ASSOCIAÇÃO CULTURAL «O MUNDO DE LYGIA CLARK»


1959

Now let’s look at an experiment using figures 13A, 13B and 13C. If we put two squares within a given rectangular surface they will neither change in themselves nor materially modify the surface on which they have been put (fig 13A). Place the squares and notice the effect. Now see what happens with figure 13B. If we put the small squares so that their edges are at the edges of the surface of the picture, we shall have a different kind of space, creating a new relationship between the two squares and the surface they are on. (Try it out)

In fact, we have created a new type of time-space relationship which I called “Upright Space”. Perhaps this becomes clearer if we imagine Fig 13B stood upright: it is as if we had two squares, one behind the other, sitting on a horizontal surface, and one of them has been raised until it has reached the position of the squares in the figure (13B). This movement is shown in Fig 13C. In Fig 13B the ‘Uprightness’ brings with it an organic time-existence of its own. In the case of Fig 13A, on the other hand, the time that we feel is not an integral part of the figure but is created by the movement of the eye from one square to the other. I called this extraneous time ‘mechanical time’. A structure in space with a time-existence of its own, is, in its creation, the making of a ‘time-space. In other words, the surfaces as a basis for showing off a composition is a convention, expressing nothing but an extraneous mechanical time-scheme as mechanical as the time between two objects in space proper.

COPYRIGHT ASSOCIAÇÃO CULTURAL «O MUNDO DE LYGIA CLARK»


1959

COPYRIGHT ASSOCIAÇÃO CULTURAL «O MUNDO DE LYGIA CLARK»


1959