Andrej Medved, poet and philosopher
SILENTIUM – SILERE: ‘Subsiding into Silence’– An Early Trace
Who is ‘whispering’ to Nataša Segulin (now)… from hidden desires, from the subconscious and the white world (like mundus, and universitatis), inspiring her to veil-and-unveil through her camera primarily black-and-white (primordial) images of all things she beholds – with a penetrating eye and subtle gaze – on her journeys. Therefore, this process is a territorialisation of materiality, one that is unalienated and pure, in clarity: traces discovered in stone, earth and the sky… like clara and distincta of her soul, reaching through her photographic lens into an immense, ‘void’ space, a space that is full and /simultaneously/ empty, infinitely empty, but nevertheless, in addition, infinitely full, filled, fulfilled, and that Nataša has captured, time and time again, with her ‘snare’ of idiosyncratic geometry… her mos geometricus, which is a substantial form: the basis for photography that is inherent in ‘the natural’ language as well as that of photography. Mos geometricus rests (according to Lacan) upon the equivalence of line and circle, the ring morphing into an eight (le rond devient un double huit) as the fundamental basis of all things, the consequence of a symbolic ‘gap’ and /at the same time/ also the real and imaginary existence, namely, our existence on Earth, whereby the Real (as the impossible) is the Real as enjoyment of the picture and of gazing at the photography in harmony with the Imaginary, that is to say, the sensuality (aisthesisom – beauty) and the body, the latter being depicted by Nataša as the constituent part of the former. A part larger than the whole itself…
This is how traces emerge, not merely some of those numerous traces but “the early trace” (die frühe Spur), which the artist erases from the photographed objects like a retina – a veil, so that it might /now/ penetrate the essence of purity of the Subject she represents in the picture. Who is ‘whispering’ to Nataša (now)… from the depth of soul-and-subject? Not the magic of psychoanalysis, far from it, but rather a Child, childlike curiosity and wonder (Ich bin des Welteskindes, F. Nietzsche), enrapture with the subject, with the (primordial) meaning and primeval existence of all fundamental ‘things’ before us and around us, the things that now, in Segulin’s photographs, erupt into light, into the light of day… We are nothing; what we search for is everything, according to Hölderlin… The artist now presents this ‘everything’ in silence (enveloped in silence), the silence of the fullness of existential happiness. Indeed, happiness…, like encounters with oneself and the world… Nataša now un(dis)covers the world as the primary texture and the early Trace, in the sense of de-territorialisation = re-establishment of pure Form, whose absolute purity is enrapturing and astounding.
Nataša’s camera – Nataša gazing through the camera lens – is, therefore, in contrast with the all-embracingness of the world, a certain machine abstraite, an abstract machine, Greek atomos: a ‘blind passenger’, after Lacan, and a child whispering the eternal but clandestine and veiled truths into our ears, employing the language of (some) idealism, which is actually only illusionism about some indestructibility and about the ancientness of the basic, cosmic geometry… which, as secrecy, was once already lost, yet, in point of fact, was never lost and needs to be rediscovered. Therefore, as Lacan put it, Nataša’s photography is: Nothing, perhaps? No – perhaps nothing, but not Nothing… This notNothingness is the automatic impulse, recline, inclination of the body, of finger, soul, prompting everything to shine forth in a new light, in tò phôs, the light of day… This is how an Occurrence occurs: the discovery of grand signs and traces… on a voyage that’s already completed when the journey has only just begun… Showing /up/ things that have existed since time immemorial but can be seen anew. The images that preserve their secrecy and secretness, that is to say, “amassment” and “covering” of our own as well as natural existence as a generating, amassing, amassed assurance of its “imprint” (on sand, on stone, on dust, on clouds), as a trace-seal surfacing like a source, a principle – the rule of a common selfhood, identity… As the typical condensity, simplicity, “sameness”.
The unique blend of imaginary body, the real enjoyment (jouissance = phonetically j’ ouïs sens = beholding the meaning of Nataša’s photography) in the photographer’s finger and her soul – pneume… is the “mainspring” (Triebfeder as the “driving force”) that triggers the picture as representation. The world is an infinite space just waiting to be set into order, encapsulated, arranged, re-established. Albeit the mos geometricus, which Nataša sees and shows in the picture, is indeed “natural”, her metaphysical level is only possible through the photographer’s gaze. Nataša’s photographic language is a visible and invisible grand signifier that shows each entity in a new light, a language as ‘showing’ (die Zeige als die Sprache, according to Heidegger: to show = showing is /already/ a language), from It. mostrare = monstrum = a sign, a grand sign, semeion to, establishing a hidden and ancient trace as the power and being, the horrible power, puissance horrible inherent in Nataša’s photographs and providing us once again, anew, ultimately, with inspiration.