“time itself flows in constant motion, just like a river. for neither the river nor the swift hour can stop its course; but, as wave is pushed on by wave, and as each wave as it comes is both pressed on and itself presses the wave in front, so time both flees and follows and is ever new.” – ovid

24/06/2011 § 2 Comments

mario reis, blacksand creek (wyoming, usa)

 

when writing about communication in art paul klee stated:

it is not easy to arrive at a conception of a whole which is constructed from parts belonging to different dimensions.  and not only nature, but also art, her transformed image, is such a whole….this is due to the consecutive nature of the only methods available to us for conveying a clear three-dimensional concept of an image in space, and results from deficiencies of a temporal nature in the spoken word.  for, with such a medium of expression, we lack the means of discussing in its constituent parts, an image which possesses simultaneously a number of dimensions. [1]

earlier this week i brought up the work of jan dibbets and spencer finch, artists attempting to manifest the presence of light over time.  in a dorky way you could call it envisioning information – the collection of data on the spatial qualities of a given physical extent.  scientists could extrapolate from this information new ways of experiencing space and enhancing our perceptions of what generally goes unperceived.  we do this a lot now.  we place monitors all over buildings, that collect information on the amount of energy a room uses, or the daylight entering a space.  the ultimate goal is to curb energy usage with cold hard facts.  and this is very important.

in a less dorky way, what dibbets and finch are doing is forming not essays but poems: a view out of the window is also a view back into your own house.  in a similar way mario reis is creating his own poems about the rivers he visits.  his paintings are filled with mystery and leave you curious and searching for more; what do these colors represent?

 

composition of paintings for exhibition in canada

tularosa river

wheeler creek (oregon)

 

mario describes his process in an interview with john grande:

i don’t simply place a stretcher in a stream and let nature do the rest of the work.  before placing the stretcher, i have to carefully select a site that provides the working conditions i need.  for instance, the water level and the speed of the current have to be right.  the installation of the stretcher is the most demanding part of the work.  it is truly an interaction between myself and the river.  i actually use the floating water as my paintbrush.  by placing stones on the stretcher, i influence the flow of the water, and can control the painting’s result to a certain degree.  that means i decide where the natural pigments, transported by the river, will settle down, or where there will later on be lighter parts in the painting. so from the beginning i compose a painting. [2]

though he’s created these paintings in polluted waters such as the rhine and in pristine waters in remote areas in the usa, his goal in forming these paintings was never focused on addressing issues of science or environmentalism.  the goal was more abstract, to get at a more accurate representation of his relationship to nature.  water is in flux.  at moments very docile and in other instances capable of carving out the greatest canyons.  what he is trying to capture is the spirit and character of water in the hopes of fostering appreciation, because as he says later in the interview, “people care for things that they appreciate and love.”

so, by amping up the presence of the imperceptible (mentioned earlier here), mario makes the viewer keenly aware of the unique character of the water flowing through our backyards and countrysides.  its striking, and a reminder that sometimes, its hard to gain an appreciation through a glowing computer monitor.

 

go for a swim.

a young hare

 

 

citations:

[1]     Tufte, Edward R. Envisioning Information. Cheshire, Conn.: Graphics, 1990. Print.

[2]    for the complete interview between mario reis and john grande visit here.

§ 2 Responses to “time itself flows in constant motion, just like a river. for neither the river nor the swift hour can stop its course; but, as wave is pushed on by wave, and as each wave as it comes is both pressed on and itself presses the wave in front, so time both flees and follows and is ever new.” – ovid

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You are currently reading “time itself flows in constant motion, just like a river. for neither the river nor the swift hour can stop its course; but, as wave is pushed on by wave, and as each wave as it comes is both pressed on and itself presses the wave in front, so time both flees and follows and is ever new.” – ovid at a young hare.

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