January 12 until February 10, 2013
MARIAN CRAMER PROJECTS is delighted to present The Seeress, a series of new works by the Irish, London based artist Michelle McKeown (1979). This is the artist’s second solo exhibition in the Netherlands.
‘I balanced all, brought all to mind,
The years to come seemed a waste of breath, a waste of breath the years behind
In balance with this life, this death.’
from ‘An Irish Airman foresees his death’
Yeats’ s lines mirror and reflect, sharpening our perception of a world of diametric opposites, between the binaries of life and death, past and future.
The invisible crease between these last thoughts of the airman, like the axis of the folded painting, is the needle point on which the scales of human awareness are balanced. Hovering in the space between, is the unarticulated expression of the moment; the now; the present, not separate and remote but rather a crystallization of the rapturous moment, replete with all that has gone before and a harnessing potential of all that has yet to come.
Prophemi, the Greek word to fortell, forsee, or say beforehand is the root of the word prophecy. Prophecy is a common property to all known ancient societies around the world.
Christianity cites prophecy as, not only the foreknowledge of future events, but also the knowledge of past events of which there is no memory, and ‘ prophecy presents those hidden things which cannot be known by the natural light of reason.’ While some see prophecy as the bridge between the individual ‘mystical self’ and the communal ‘mystical body’,” Certain scientific views propose it to be a free association that occurs through the workings of the right brain.
The theme of Prophecy is pervasive in all the works in the current exhibition, less so in terms of visual cues and contextual framing ,and more so in the processes involved in their theoretical and technical construction, which is owed largely to the practice of klecksographie by Justinus Kerner (1786 -1862) physician, poet, mystic and clairvoyant.
Kerner’s use of the inkblot as a means of divination might draw parallels with reading grains of tea leaves in the bottom of a cup or the interpretation of tossed yarrow stalks in correspondence with the hexagram configurations of the I Ching or Book of Changes.
In any case, like the airman, it is the rapturous moment that is seized. As Carl Jung expressed in his fore ward to the I-Ching
‘it is the ‘configuration of chance events in the moment of observation’ that is of interest . . . it must be admitted that moments can leave long traces.’
And in the fleetingness of the moment we glimpse our own mortality.These painting follow in the tradition of the Vanitas. They celebrate and delight in the rapturous moment, which is at once the life we see in death and the death that is in life.