2020 The Academy of the Sublime.

Erik Odijk

Purely from the need for meaning and a sublime aesthetic, my story has developed into a positioning and argument in the context of the sublime. The story has become more in-depth, substantial and challenging.

The dynamics of the Sublime can be significant in our times of uncertainty and vulnerability, of singularity and fear of our identities. The still hopeless ‘condition humaine’ as a global ‘downer’ gnaws on at our conscience.
An almost impossible appeal is made to our sense of perspective.
This perspective is perhaps now the greatest challenge for people and culture…

‘The Sublime’.
Surrender and reflection shape the context.
This is experienced by confronting matters beyond our understanding and knowledge, resulting in insights into how meaning is given in the sublime experience.
We recognize the search for boundaries as the ultimate pain relief.
The sublime is a medium for ‘inner emigration.’
We see the sublime experience as a test, arising from the encounter: ‘Experiencing the shock and surrendering to passion.’

TAotS as a small Utopia.
The vision of TAotS is metamodernistic. Metamodernism is a movement in response to the post-modern era’s cynicism and defeatist nihilism. It is an expression of the need for meaning; it wants room for the affect… The emphasis is on the return of the grand narrative and of deep turmoil. There is the pursuit of a constructive engagement with nature and with a true ecology. You can recognise this in the forms of neo-romanticism and neo-nihilism… A need for sincerity and a sense of purpose, including a spiritual one, has arisen, through a restoration of the human mind’s excellence. The Sublime will help reveal this excellence through the ‘experience that impresses and exalts.’ This revelation should be an addition to the Apollonian visionary dream; a new era.

TAotS wants to critically examine and reintroduce the meaning and relevance of both the artwork and the exhibition.
The aim must be the search for more truthful phantom realities.

Interweave the visionary dream and musical intoxication into a real tragedy…
The ideas of Reason complete experiences of chaos and the unlimited.

And with the intention of sensually portraying the Sublime, the inadequate (the human flaw) and the indirect, the imperfect depiction of ‘that’ which escapes our gaze, is the sublime experience that is generated in us.

Because that which I show
you can just see

watching is then something to talk about
when looking at this book.

the images speak for themselves
it is what it is,
a thing in itself

the language, on the other hand, speaks out
examines, imagines.
attentive observation connects language and image
in this book.

… but the unrest may be ‘galvanizing’, influence perception…
in now articulating the experience of its aesthetics.
so that it is not just beautiful.

(That’s what my bookTAotS shows)

I only see the skin of things in the depiction.
Everything blends through the skin into a fluid movement.
Everything is pushed out through the skin.
The vulnerable movement and the movement that hurts, hard under the soft…
I understand that I am looking for delicasy
The search and longing for delicate softness is universal
and more relevant than ever…

What is its meaning then? … is that now my ‘Ding an sich’ in the depictions I make? Autofiction or hyperreality?
Is it the moment in my life ‘to say goodbye to loneliness’ and to share with the lonely?
I say goodbye to nostalgia, the blinding melancholic experience of the past and of history.
The will creates the starting points, the contours…

Understood as an object of desire, my story is about shifts in work and in content; about change, usually projected through the feeling that becomes a task. The task gives rise to new feelings and convictions that, after catharsis and crisis, come from desperation and the ‘escape’.

crave intimacy
the synthesis
(in) the offing

I now allow the physical person into the image. For the time being, this refers to the films. A more direct and exciting emotional involvement is possible in the medium of film/video. Furthermore, the documentary approach to story and entourage/place is the method to search and fathom the object of desire. It is based on a deeper psychological necessity. I also use this approach in my performative photography, where one’s body and its expression are the object. An area of tension, with shocking insights and traumatic experiences, emerges in the domain of the sublime, which leads me to new dreams…

This allows more freedom of movement in the subjects and underlying concepts than in the representative, pictorial approach to the landscape in my drawings. The subject has been moved. The medium of film provides performative elements with more structure and meaning. Slow cinema steers toward a ‘meditative viewing’… I unburden, send concentrated attention, just as the purpose of my drawings is: you must be able to merge with matter.
In that act of drawing, I choose new subjects: design and text drawings for gardens and land art, moths for large drawings in the studio and in situ. My priority is Imparting an intensity!
The sublime experience’s intensity isn’t only limited to an experience in a rugged wilderness.
It is in the drawings’ structures and textures, in the details… in the intensity of making.

The intensity of the language – the observation in image and language – of photographed landscapes and natural artworks in the open and public space.
In this way, I now literally work in the landscape with the ‘real stuff’, from design to execution…
I look for meaning when creating a garden, using ‘meaning mythology’ to create a place in a landscape.
While the drawing becomes sculpture.

TAotS is now a platform for a temporary cooperative to describe the context of the ‘indescribable’, through the imagination that language offers and the visually represented depictions.