Alfred Hruschka 

Art - a transforming journey

An attempt to the possibility of change through art
by Uschi Edlinger, 2014

"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious.
It is the source of all true art and science."
(Albert Einstein)

Art and science are both travellers on the road to truth. While science must remain objective, art has all freedoms. Science verifies everything, art clarifies nothing. Au contraire, art wants to show only our inner truths we are ready to see. So the main designation of art is not in forcing us to believe in certain dogmas or in resolving contradictions, but in displaying our world provocatively and thus creating challenging (worm)holes in our rigged up lives.

In our hectic everyday routines we tend to overlook feelings, the subtle, the gentle undertones. It seems, that in a materialistic world full of information & entertainment, determined by rules and consumption, there's no place for the invisible, but "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye" (Antoine de Saint-Exupéry).

Mostly media are loud and art is silent. While media often strain our senses to the last nerve, art works as a mirror to our hidden emotions, using a soft, but primal effective communication channel: the power of our subconscious and that is nothing but our true heart and soul.

"Do you see yourself in the other?", is the title of an art object from Alfred Hruschka and implies the possibility of an empathetic introspection through a creative process. On one side we have the old, forgotten, even damaged materials, telling us their own stories. And on the other? A creative access to our true feelings? Whatever we admit.

Do we see others? Do we even see at all? Or are the images of our retina just a projection of what our brain wants us to see? Reality is relative. What if that is just the beginning and in the end our world is nothing but a leisure game or test operation for some kind of mystic energy? In this case art is hopefully a genius, far better than reality.

But besides these disturbing questions "We must not allow the clock and the calendar to blind us to the fact that each moment of life is a miracle and mystery" (H. G. Wells). Like a materialized "panta rhei", art shows us the importance of trusting our senses and life's energetic secrets. Art can be a reminder of the magic wonders from our childhood, as well as of our inner demons and repressed memories.

Instead of imposing answers to the viewer, Hruschka's objects approach respectfully, with no dictation of any interpretation. They constantly produce "gestalt transformation", which involves the viewer in a mysterious way, as all our emotional issues permanently tend to evoke stories of their own destiny. A new umbilical cord with direct connection to human conditions emerges, opening a vivid discourse and creating an own dynamic organism. Everything is part of the whole - and that's the essence of change.

But why is it so hard for us to change? To leave accustomed avenues, try to vanquish our ego? In the end it's up to us to take action and allow physical transformation with their morphological mutations. The right moment is pure illusion, a lazy excuse to protect our anxious inner child from renewals, that are unstoppable anyway. We don't own the future, but we own the moment."Live, as if the day would be here already," Nietzsche said.

Good stories are probably the last true heroes of human life. They are strong enough to enlighten our hearts independently from the transporting medium via ancient narrative and mythic structures. They are a highly effective translator for psychological entities. Art captures and transforms them into an universal language, preserved for ever. Finally they are able to outlast all time and space, in order to save us the illusion of importance and provide some peace in a universe, where our planet is actually quite meaningless.

"A true hero is someone enduring the grey everyday life and still stays a human" (Dostojewskij). Unique object art could be the helping link between our grey working monotonies and staying human, by offering a dynamic process of interacting with wise material (like ancient threads, driftwood) and the essence, that made as to "zwitter-twitter" humans, the letter, as the beginning of modern communication. We can see letters only as a tool, transforming human sounds into graphic characters. Or we allow them a kinesthetic entity of their own. A powerful life to illuminate or to destroy our souls.

Proust postulated, "The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes"and indeed, as a changing process, without any travelling, art opens insights in ourselves and adds a relativization to our problems, making us even laugh. And that holds therapeutic values for sure, because, "Looking at these stars suddenly dwarfed my own troubles and all the gravities of terrestrial life" (H. G. Wells).

Art as a star, waiting to be looked up to? As an escapistic transmittor between the hopeless knowledge of our mortality and the soothing distraction of a happy moment? Why not. But as stars are not like stars, because, “People have stars, but they aren't the same. For travelers, the stars are guides. For other people, they're nothing but tiny lights. And for still others, for scholars, they're problems... But all those stars are silent stars" (Antoine de Saint-Exupéry).

So it is up to us to fill our stars with significance and our special meanings, but unfortunately in the end, we are all trapped in our determined minds and bodies, although modern society offers many opportunities for different identities. Today, a simple life and a single personality don't seem enough and can quickly morph into a two-faced enemy: loneliness.

The healing power of silence could be an important transforming process, but many people can't endure the soft inner voice and indeed, the boundaries between heavenly peace and devastating loneliness are fluent. Alone, time seems longer and ironically that has nothing to do with the amount of people surrounding us, but rather with our feeling of being integrated, understood and loved.

Unfortunately it's not easy to find a true soulmate - the floating energy of unconditioned, "avatar-like" affection and when falling in love, we tend to look to each other instead of looking in the same direction :). We rather content ourselves with a incongruous partner, than living alone, because without love, time can expand to a haunting eternity, leaving us back with a disoriented "out of the whole sensation". Lost in space, literally.

Pulled out of ourselves, detached from all physique, no pain, no need to consume, just free spirits. A desirable state? Maybe...some day we will know. "When you will have made him a body without organs, then you will have delivered him from all his automatic reactions and restored him to his true freedom," Antonin Artaudsaid.

Do objects of art have the power to release us from our body and transcend the - what we call - "real world", by creating a breaking point between terrestrial matter and our unconscious dreams? Can artistic media build new, timeless connections, like a synaptic nexus? “The outside is not a fixed limit but a moving matter animated by peristaltic movements, folds and foldings that together make up an inside: they are not something other than the outside, but precisely the inside of the outside” (Gilles Deleuze).

In our world we can't question the existance of matter - per definitionem "anything that has mass and volume". Only the imagination of being fooled by our senses and the possibilty of (to us) invisible entities, also occupying space, would give us nightmares. Quantum physics suggests, that matter has no permanent reality and we have the power to change our world just with the power of our minds.

But what if time and space are just illusions? What if we can't rely on anything, no letters, no objects, no social systems? When good, is not good and even bad not bad? What if we can't sedate us anymore with a rescuing wake-up call in the morning? It could be difficult to escape from nightmares, when we aren't sleeping.

So the worst thing to happen, is not when our deepest fears are coming true, but when our reference systems implode, making a joke out of our whole life. When we dare to realize, that all our beliefs and paradigms are nothing but a childish interpretation of a world, that has never belonged to us and never needed us, then we could have the chance to get behind the mysteries of life and to drop our arrogant "top of the evolution" view for good. When we accept, that everything is just the way it is and that's all ("A rose is a rose is a rose is a rose" Gertrude Stein).

Art not only likes us to have insights in our lives and make the best of ourselves, but also pushes us to open eyes AND hearts to others. Art wants us to see and feel. Art wants us to believe and live. Let's open our bodies in joyful anticipation of a new state of mind, that will happen for sure.

"If you wake up at a different time in a different place, could you wake up as a different person?" (Fight Club, 1999). Imagine art as a time machine, showing us our different personas, evoking a process of linking and even integrating them, what a transforming journey that would be.

Unobtrusive...
Unstoppable...
Effective...

Materials. A companion.
Objects. A possibility.

Art. A transformer...and a changing journey with no return - if we dare.