the Pitcairn Museum of Contemporary Art

An open letter to Heike Weber

 

Dear Heike Weber,

 

On the 10th of March, after visiting the annual third-year exhibition at Academy Minerva, two fellow artists and I have stopped by Pitcairn museum space, where your work Inner Cloud was on full display. Granted by the absence of light during late evening hours we were able to see the installation without being obstructed by sunshine or raindrops. The transformation of the space’s walls into a labyrinth of mirrors generated an immediate sense of bewilderment. Making us wonder what was there in actuality. I remember instantaneously being intrigued by the notion of fractals. Creation of infinite universes. Yet, the stillness of the work made my wandering mind get fixated on the color and the form of your sculptural installation. 



There is something distinct about the color white. Particularly in terms of how we comprehend it in degrees of symbolism. As well as, how we digest it. I would like to share with you what first comes to my mind when thinking about the phenomena of white color. In the science of wavelengths, white light breaks down into a spectrum of hues. As a color that represents the beginnings of other colors. Analogously, in Western beliefs white has been associated with the emergence of life, purity, and innocence. This can be found throughout the history of arts, particularly in the renaissance period, where Archangels were typically depicted with purely white wings, holy personas dressed in white gowns, recurring portrayals of a white lamb, at last – unmarried women in long white dresses. 

The associations that the color white induces in our cognitive abilities to conceptualize it could go on long personalized lists, however, for today a symbol of the white flag would be my favorite one. I could see all of the aforementioned associations in your work, yet, there was something intimate Inner Cloud signified to me.

 

When I was around 6 years old, I started to have a reappearing dream. A dream of a pristine white skin/fur creature, something on the lines of a greek sculpture if somebody would have blown a soul in it and transformed the figure into an unrecognizable being. I can no longer recall the exact shape it had but the smoothness of its surface has stayed in my memory as something outside human language. The first time it came to visit, it asked me to swear I will not say a word to anyone after waking up. I had to swear it on my waking life. In exchange,  I would be rewarded with the creatures’ visits. Or, at the very least, I believed it must have been a delightful experience to have a dream visitor with such a faultless physique. 



Regardless of my swear made somewhere 20 years ago I am sharing this memory since after seeing Inner Cloud, I suddenly remembered the creature. Perchance, it got evoked by the visual overwhelmingness of the color white. Your scrupulously placed orbs with the illumination of mirror walls appeared as if the creature has gotten a new form. An abstraction of who used to have a solid shape. Now is split into molecules. Facing its metamorphosis in the eyes of galleries passers-by. There was a relief I felt seeing what you have done with its form. As if you have renounced the reign it had over a child’s dreams years back. Took its material form and molded it as wished. 



Nonetheless, the link between my dream recollection and your work has elicited something relevant in today’s context. It feels that you have touched upon my current mind clouds. Which, for the past month, have been overtaken by the hope of hearing truce and therefore seeing a symbol of a white flag. 

You might wonder, how does my dream, your created world, and the current state of Europe have in common. Well, I will answer it bluntly, altered perception. The awareness of surroundings to the degree invisible to a human eye. As if Inner Cloud has enhanced a minuscule view – an understanding of one living/breathing/stiving organism. Making me realize that the dream creature was not only a construct of my subconscious mind but was also made up of the same molecular structure that I am. And, in a microscopic view,  a person striving to survive a few thousand kilometers away would be the same as I am. Therefore, what happens in the beforementioned scenarios of associations with the color white, the dream, today’s reality is the constant flux of the molecules. Or, as I like to imagine, a dance of units.




Although, from the moment of seeing your work I was aware the assigned meaning stems from morphing spaces and creating illusions, the stillness, and hence the contextual openness your work has given, prompted me to recall a personal childhood event and ponder feelings on Europe’s current status. 

In the end, I like to think about Inner Cloud as something meditative for the mind to wonder. 

 

Yours,

 

Klaudija Ylaite

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