ONE AND ALL
One and All is a meditation on life from life itself—a permanent exaltation of the quotidian by capturing the light-bathing skin, objects, and pathways. It can be seen as a microfilm about the hidden and sometimes secret structures that shape what we actually perceive on the surface. At the same time, the artwork is presented as a photographic journey imbued with philosophical inquiry, which exudes its very own, quasi boreal semantics.
One and All behaves as a whole; it is an archive of images defining a principle and drawing a path to get through the woods. In an atmosphere of silence, images happen at a steady pace and appear to behave as the ripples propagating in water: vibration travels across grain, austral colors, and through the skies awaiting dawn. The artists themselves multiply in the geography of their eclectic imagery by transforming their nomad experience in photographic object.
After stopping and contemplating the series in a number of instances, we might end up understanding that One and All flows regardless of verbal language, and words may be of little help to measure or depict anything specific, scarcely bringing us closer to the work. In its multiple meanings, the project cannot be separated from its makers in the same way we cannot uproot reality from our deepest desires. When plunged in the drift, the (re)presentation of reality steams from the pleasure distilled from experience, from the reluctance to consume time in just a few seconds. Looking again, looking with purpose, images vibrate, breathe… heal. All, with no exception.
Pat Lemos (Spain, 1982) and Lukas Lehmann (Germany, 1986) are visual artists with a BA in Fine Arts from the Polythecnic University of Valencia and the Kunsthochschule Burg Giebichenstein of Halle/Salle, respectively; creators and members of the artistic duo LEMOS + LEHMANN, active since 2014.
Nowadays, they live between Spain and Iceland looking for a balance across golden, blue skies and Northern energy; across different ways of transiting the world.
Using analogue photography, as the main tool, they explore the concepts of body, environment and time. A triad in which they get immersed through their relationship and the relation established with the places they visit or inhabit. Lemos + Lehmann’s gaze is raw but layered with subtleties, formally moving from the figurative to the most abstract, emotionally and conceptually from the natural to the mystical, and the supernatural.
They start to consolidate their work participating in artists residencies, art festivals and various individual and group exhibitions. Their instants appear in reference online magazines such as ANALOG MAGAZINE, HIPPO MAGAZINE, C41, FISHEYE, IGNANT or MINUS37. Art collection MICA (Spain) hosts some of their pieces.
After their solo show The Light Behind in Lokal-Int Gallery (Biel, Switzerland), they prepare the upcoming season with exhibitions in South Korea, Spain and Iceland.
From mirror after mirror,
No vanity’s displayed:
I’m looking for the face I had
Before the world was made.
W.B. Yeats: The winding stair
I stared at the first image of this series for a significant amount of time. I felt the need to talk to my own reflection after I stopped looking at it. The awareness of aging, the wisdom that comes with the body breaking down, the tears that were never shed, the divine moment hidden in future wrinkles, the stretched skin and the fissures; mirror after mirror, the image that you think is going to tell you who you truly are as you approach the reflective surface, stays silent. This very intense and personal visual chronicle by Rory King dissects the feeling of longing for something that is never fully shown; ambiguous and faceless figures escape from consumption.
A recurrent symbol appears in this body of work: The Sun.
It appears as an ink mark on the chest of the artist in various self-portraits and as the yearning for unbounded freedom relaxes, it sparkles on a stretch of water in the guise of Kairos, the Immortal Now, paying a romantic tribute to Masao Yamamoto.
Confronting myself with the simulacrum of our infinite source of energy, I think of it as a father who holds the name of his children like a net in his hands. This thought immediately brought me to “Solar Inferno and the Earthbound abyss” by Reza Negarestani. In this text, the philosopher brings up the idea that all organisms in the biosphere are subjected to a ‘Heliocentric Slavery’, since the dying star narrows the speculative opportunities of radical exteriority. What the Sun, our exorbitant source of energy, creates, remains within the confines of its own limits. In the solar system, ideas and possibilities of how to live are reduced to solutions to confront the problem of consumption; the plurality of life is enforced at the expense of monism in death. What we call death is then just one of the possible narratives of the abyss, the terrestrial face of something that has unbound potential.
Under the spell of Rory King’s self-portraits, I wrote as if I were him: “I feel like I died many times, but the Sun tells me I get to die just once”.
The closing piece of this series shows a shadow that seems to whisper: “Which way out shall I take?”. Identity dissolves into the abyss and the shadow seems to find the face it had before the world was made.
Words by Cecilia Nobili
In 1992 The World’s Scientists Warning to Humanity was signed by Henry W. Kendall and other 1.700 leading scientists. The document begins with these words:”Human beings and the natural world are on a collision course”. 25 years later, in November 2017, 15.364 scientists signed The World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity: A Second Notice. The call does not seem to have been answered. Accepting that what our species did to the biosphere might look like what is described in eschatological writings, would mean embracing our absolute vanity and dealing with our responsibilities, a thing that does not seem to be achievable before destruction.
Put the signs of negligence and violence before our eyes, we will not move. Let us live surrounded by dying creatures and rubble, you might listen to some of us raising our voices, but the revolution will not come. The solution seems to lie beyond death itself, in the non-worldly as a possibility of the forthcoming end of the world. Every single fact concerning mortal beings is arbitrary, artificial and generates from a notion of violence and an exosomatic process slipped through the fingers of whom is supposed to be in control. Marie Queau’s work, especially the series Odds and ends, made me think about ways to regain agency. Examining her production and reading her interviews and publications bombarded me with flashes, immersing me in the realm of things that exist but are not manifested. The spirit of the atomic bomb relives in Gojira, a plane crash breaths in and out of its wreckage-skeleton through the words of Paul Virilio, Philip K. Dick is evoked to explain conceptual dislocation as the key element to provide possible futures, as in fiction, as outside of it. Bernard Stiegler, in a recent article on morality within the technosphere, addresses the fact that the only antidote to the inherent entropy of holon (the whole) is restoring noetic activity. The pharmakon is thinking, experiencing the local difference between microcosm and macrocosm, between a sand grain and the desert. Odds and ends embodies that difference, the distance that reveals what can be understood. I heard some of Marie Queau’s pictures talking; some, conversing with one another without noticing me, some others screaming at me to wake up. In Le Royaume, her ongoing project where we see photographs taken during a french sporting event called Le Mud Day, we are forced to deal with the stillness of myth and how its weight both haunts us and shelters us. Given a platform onto which it is possible to project the ghosts of the past, the contours of a humanity that is capable of defining itself only through what it removes start to appear. Adopting a more documentary approach, in this series, Marie Queau shows us again something that we would not normally look for if we were to follow our default setting, the same setting responsible for the revolution not happening.
Words by Cecilia Nobili