What is it that makes it a decision when and if the painting is finished? The more the mind is involved, the less the final picture seems to be real. A priori and even a posteriori knowing does not work. The paintings are not of those who wait for the dawn of a day even if they keep the light. Who decides? The Occasion, the Encounter, the Real, in its indefatigable expression.. in order to designate reality, all that is known must come to an end.
The Unconscious in Art
A WORK of art that we can understand at sight is mediocre or worse. Genius stirs our ignorance first. That which comes out of the deeps must make its appeal to the deeps. It is the unknown, the indefinable, the thing that “worries” you in Rodin, Whistler, Matisse, Rops that fascinates you. It brings you back again and again, and each time that we know more of them we know less of them. That is the paradox of the Infinite.
Every thought has its corresponding emotion; no thought, no emotion—that is a philosophic axiom. But there are aesthetic emotions for which there are no corresponding thoughts; emotions that awaken the Unconscious alone and that never touch the brain; emotions vague, indefinable, confused; emotions that wake whirlwinds and deep-sea hurricanes.
Before the Beautiful some of us are in danger of aesthetic catalepsy. Thought knows not what to paint on these states of aesthetic subconsciousness. There are no idea-pigments that correspond to these emotions, these nostalgic shadows that never quite come out of their tombs.
Monet, Poe and Blake were three types wherein the Unconscious tried to render itself intelligible. And the world always questions the sanity of this kind of art, but the sanity of the world is the sanity of common sense and common sense in art we can dismiss.
So profoundly is the mind of genius rooted in the Unconscious that it never has a clear idea of just what it is doing. It obeys. From this the idea of “having been chosen” is born in the brain of the great painter, the great sculptor, the great musician. Who knows the exact effect or worth of his precious work? What great artist knows what he is doing at any particular time? He is a tool in the hands of the Unconscious. He brings a message to the world that he himself does not know the import of.
Conscious effort, conscious willing, the open-eyed act is always the last of a series, and not the first. It is the flower of preceding incalculable sowings in the Unconscious. Consciousness in art is only the antenna of the blind unknowable Force and intelligence is only its nerve.
Imagination is the dream of the Unconscious. It is the realm of the gorgeous, monstrous hallucinations of the Unconscious. It is the hasheesh of genius. Out of the head of the artist issues all the beauty that is transferred to canvas, but the roots of his imagination lie deeper than his personality.
The soul of the genius is the safety vault of the race, the treasure-pocket of the Unconscious soul of the world. Here age after age the Secretive God stores its dreams. And the product of genius overwhelms us because it has collaborated with the Infinite.
Benjamin De Casseres
Camera Work, Oct. 1911, No. 36, p. 17
..there is a quietness in a room, the big space opens up. Because thoughts are always conditioned, they require time. But the mind that is clear decides effortlessly changing the movement of brush strokes in various directions. Once it is slow, the other time immediately very intense. The colors speak their language, they even communicate with a space, not only given, but that which is not present. Anything is possible. But nothing seems to be so essential as a freedom in which all involved meet and create. It is not intuitive, nor well known, but very active in its stillness in the eternal moment of now.
I have composed this brief but intimate insight inward of my creating process.
These works on paper serve for me as studies for works on larger scale canvas.
Meditation is not a search, it's not a seeking, a probing, an exploration. It is an explosion and discovery. It's not the taming of the brain to conform nor is it a self-introspective analysis, it is certainly not the training in concentration which includes, chooses and denies. It's something that comes naturally, when all positive and negative assertions and accomplishments have been understood and drop away easily. It is the total emptiness of the brain. It's the emptiness that is essential, not what's in the emptiness, there is seeing only from emptiness, all virtue, not social morality and respectability, springs from it. It's out of this emptiness love comes, otherwise it's not love. Foundation of righteousness is in this emptiness. It's the end and beginning of all things.
These magical works on photography are created with Flexaret camera on Kodak film, Portra 160, 120mm.
So one sees that intelligence doesn't lie in the hands of the observer, and it is only when the mind is free, free to learn, and learning is not the accumulation of knowledge. On the contrary, learning is a movement, and accumulation of knowledge is static, you may add to it but the core of it is static. And from this static state one functions, one lives, one paints, one writes, one does all the mischief in the world. And you call that freedom. So can the mind be free of the known? You know this is really quite an extraordinary question if you ask it, not merely intellectually but really very, very, very deeply, to find out whether the mind can ever be free from the known. Otherwise there is no creation - you follow - otherwise there is nothing new, there is nothing new under the sun then. It is always re-formation of the reformed. Jiddu Krishnamurti
I have composed a brief introduction to two of my new exhibitions that are taking place in Prague with the solo show in Muj salek kavy that will last until July 28th 2019 and the group show in Gallery Kotelna to see until June 1st 2019, concerning the theme of freedom as a crucial essence of my creative process in general. Please, feel very welcome to visit the exhibitions..
...at the still point of the turning world, there the dance is, but neither arrest nor movement. And do not call it fixity, where past and future are gathered. Neither movement from nor towards, neither ascent nor decline. Except for the point, the still point, there would be no dance, and there is only the dance.
T. S. Eliot
When wu-wei is done, nothing is left undone..
The works I created for this exhibition represent nothing and yet they represent the most essential truth. The truth which is not possible to know, nor to describe, neither to think about it.
To me, there is a reality, an immense living truth, and to comprehend that, there must be utter simplicity of thought. There is a great subtlety, an infinite subtlety and delicacy, and if you use words merely as a means of getting to that delicacy, to that simplicity of thought, then I am afraid you will not comprehend what I want to convey. But if you would use the significance of words as a bridge to cross, then words will not become an illusion in which the mind is lost. I say there is this living reality, call it God, truth, or what you like, and it cannot be found or realised through search. Where there is the implication of search there must be contrast and duality, whenever mind is seeking, it must inevitably imply a division, a distinction, a contrast, which does not mean that mind must be contented, mind must be stagnant. There is that delicate poise, which is neither contentment, nor this ceaseless effort born of search, of this desire to attain, to achieve, and in that delicacy of poise lies simplicity, not the simplicity of having but few clothes or few possessions. I am not talking of such simplicity, which is merely a crude form, but of simplicity born of this delicacy of thought, in which there is neither search nor contentment.
As I said, search implies duality, contrast. Now where there is contrast, duality, there must be identification with one of the opposites, and from this there arises compulsion. When we say we search, our mind is rejecting something and seeking a substitute that will satisfy it, and thereby it creates duality, and from this there arises compulsion. That is, the choice of the one is the overcoming of the other, isn't it?
When we say we seek out or cultivate a new value, it is but the overcoming of that in which the mind is already caught up, which is its opposite. This choice is based on attraction to one or fear of the other, and this clinging through attraction, or rejection through fear, creates influence over the mind. Influence then is the negation of understanding and can exist only where there is division, the psychological division from which there arise distinctions such as class, nationality, religious, sex. That is, when the mind is trying to overcome, it must create duality, and that very duality negates understanding and creates the distinctions. That duality influences the mind, and hence a mind influenced by duality cannot understand the significance of environment or the significance of the cause of conflict. These psychological influences are merely reactions to environment from that centre of "I" consciousness, of like and dislike, of antitheses, and naturally where there are antitheses, opposites, there can be no comprehension. From this distinction there arises the classification of influences as beneficial and evil. So as long as mind is influenced - and influence is born of attraction, opposites, antitheses - there must be the domination or compulsion of love, of intellect, of society, and this influence must be a hindrance to that understanding which is beauty, truth, and love itself.
Now, if you can become aware of this influence, then you can discern its cause. Most people seem to be aware superficially, not at the greatest depth. It is only when there is awareness at the greatest depth of consciousness, of thought and emotion, that you can discern the division that is created through influence, which negates understanding.
What we call happiness or ecstasy is, to me, creative thinking. And creative thinking is the infinite movement of thought, emotion and action. That is, when thought, which is emotion, which is action itself, is unimpeded in its movement, is not compelled or influenced or bound by an idea, and does not proceed from the background of tradition or habit, then that movement is creative. So long as thought - and I won't repeat each time emotion and action - so long as thought is circumscribed, held by a fixed idea, or merely adjusts itself to a background or condition and, therefore, becomes limited, such though is not creative. So the question which every thoughtful person puts to himself is how can he awaken this creative thinking, because when there is this creative thinking, which is infinite movement, then there can be no idea of a limitation, a conflict. Now this movement of creative thinking does not seek in its expression a result, an achievement, its results and expressions are not its culmination. Is has no culmination or goal, for it is eternally in movement. Most minds are seeking a culmination, a goal, an achievement, and are holding themselves upon the idea of success, and such thought, such thinking is continually limiting itself, whereas if there is no idea of achievement but only the continual movement of thought as understanding, as intelligence, then that movement of thought is creative. That is, creative thinking ceases when mind is crippled by adjustment through influence, or when it functions with the background of a tradition which it has not understood, or from a fixed point, like an animal tied to a post. So long as this limitation, this adjustment, exists, there cannot be creative thinking, intelligence, which alone is freedom.
This creative movement of thought never seeks a result or comes to a culmination, because result or culmination is always the outcome of alternate cessation and movement, whereas if there is no search for a result, but only continual movement of thought, then that is creative thinking.
Again, creative thinking is free of division, which creates conflict between thought, emotion, and action. And division exists only when there is the search of a goal, when there is adjustment and the complacency of certainty.
Action is this movement which is itself thought and emotion, as I explained. This action is the relationship between the individual and society. It is conduct, work, cooperation, which we call fulfilment. That is, when mind is functioning without seeking a culmination, a goal, and, therefore, thinking creatively, that thinking is action which is the relationship between the individual and society. Now if this movement of thought is clear, simple, direct, spontaneous, profound, then there is no conflict in the individual against society, for action then is the very expression of this living, creative movement.
So to me there is no art of thinking, there is only creative thinking. There is no technique of thinking, but only spontaneous creative functioning of intelligence, which is the harmony of reason, emotion, and action, not divided or divorced from each other.
Now this thinking and feeling, without a search for a reward, a result, is true experiment, isn't it? In real experiencing, real experimenting, there cannot be the search for result, because this experimenting is the movement of creative thought. To experiment, mind must be continually freeing itself from the environment with which it conflicts in its movement, the environment which we call the past. There can be no creative thinking if mind is hindered by the search for a reward, by the pursuit of a goal.
When the mind and heart are seeking a result or a gain, thereby complacency and stagnation, there must be practice, an overcoming, a discipline, out of which comes conflict. Most people think that by practicing a certain idea they will release creative thinking. Now, practice, if you come to observe it, ponder over it, is nothing but the result of duality. And an action born of this duality must perpetuate that distinction between mind and heart, and such action becomes merely the expression of a calculated, logical, self-protective conclusion. If there is this practice of self-discipline, or this continual domination or influence by circumstances, then practice is merely an alteration, a change toward an end, it is merely action within the confines of the limited thought which you call self - consciousness. So practice does not bring about creative thinking.
To think creatively is to bring about harmony between mind, emotion and action. That is, if you are convinced of an action, without the search of a reward at the end, then that action, being the result of intelligence, releases all hindrances that have been placed on the mind through the lack of understanding.
Where the mind and heart are held by fear, by lack of understanding, by compulsion, such a mind, though it can think within the confines, within the limitations of that fear, is not really thinking, and its action must ever throw up new barriers. Therefore, its capacity to think is ever being limited. But if the mind frees itself through the understanding of circumstances and, therefore, acts, then that very action is creative thinking.