by Claudia Siefen-Leitich
Doesn’t the modern, enlightened observer, who feels isolated in his existence, have the tendency to look for information in the form of a work of art? The observer approaches the work of art in the hope of adding a small, universal insight to his or her own endeavour, to make sure of himself or herself with the help of the truth. With this expectation, one approaches in particular the image produced, and the running image is included here. Film, painting and sculpture as material reality, which can be experienced directly by the viewer through the senses and thus generates truth. However, in so far as the artist in the production of his work simultaneously takes the standpoint of observation and analyses this activity from this point of view, this approach of self-assurance applies on two sides. Here the artist finds himself with his reality, sensually influencing the observation. It is then up to the artist to evoke a more objective perception of things. And there one rearranges things. This action ideally enables a new kind of perception. What is desirable, then, is the creation of a connection between the outside world and oneself, both ultimately recreated in the work of art. But everything sinks, everything lives, everything moves. Everything returns, nothing is past and it remains the turning point. If not several turning points to fix: poor, lost, vague, kind, feel, rail, rattle, rigidly sore, mass, water, life, angular, oval, metal, bright, water, life, dark, claws, earth, spoiled, no, when.
One can thematize here into the infinite views in space together with the time surrounding them, which makes one doubt an identity of sensual perception. Is thus Wüst’s working character and his critical approach aware to a greater or lesser extent that his work of art must also be deceptive and that there is thus no way out of the dilemma? There remains the possibility of adapting the sensual form to these conceptual forms or of classifying them accordingly, and possibly to abandon this in favour of a pure text and image form. Mathematical structures, serial arrangements, regular rhythms and all kinds of repetitions that can be captured by proportions give this approach a calculated impact. Why is there all too often talk of a text body but not of an image body? The film is flat, and if it is to radiate seductive power and poetry, it must develop its own body. Because only a body can follow its own ideas. And a revolutionary film is always also a poetic film. Namely, always exactly where it jumps out of the system and unmasks, where it violates and crosses borders. But above all where it gives back to the unsystematic space. To that other, which cannot simply be another image. But isn’t every image that assumes that space exists wrong, because every image only gives the illusion of space?
Ludwig Wüst seems to leave the responsibility for the act of creation to someone else, the observer. Whatever his expression, the emphasis on a character of the work of art understood in this way, whether attainable or per se unattainable, gives his art its claim. Exposing the structures of his reality provides the most important criterion for the assessment of an individual work. Its sensual content may perhaps play a role in intuitive contemplation and must occasionally fight for its enlightening claim. What is Ludwig Wüst’s intention and how does his biography explain this intention? This seems to be indispensable additional information, because it forms the possible perspective from which an access to the work is sought. How does one treat the sensual expression of a work within comprehensible criteria? After all, the idea of beauty is never the same as the concept of beauty. The term was only used as an alternative. The idea is perceived inwardly, a phenomenon because at the same time the question is raised as to the relationship between idea and sensual reality. To experience ideas senselessly would mean to experience the spiritual existence of the idea as real as a sensually perceivable and physical existence, or even to consider the existence of a senseless idea possible. Although we need the idea to explain our world, do we treat it as an imaginary reality, as a summarizing term for a certain fact, which concept is used in any kind of nominalism? In order to concede reality to the idea, do we not have to give it at least a touch of sensuality, make it an immaterial phenomenon? Because every image can be seen and read. But our brain is only challenged to form its own image if the image shown contains a certain blurriness and does not show something essential, because the illegibility of an image also gives it its special appeal.
For spiritual existence has become an immaterial phenomenon for us, yes, can’t we recognize reality in any other way than through concepts, and these in turn lead us to further ideas? If we now follow the thought to its end, then everything is appearance, the idea is appearance and reality as soon as it is recognized. In order to reach the truth, one has to pull himself out of the world of appearances by his own hair. With the help of something thought that cannot be thought. With the help of a book, a painting or a film. But then it is important to examine the way in which the idea is effective and the interrelation between it and sensual reality. This means, as long as the idea cannot be seen, to grant it this senseless form of existence, to give it this possibility and to refrain from giving it a material existence within a single concrete appearance. This view is anything but an incapacitation of the idea. The existence of a concrete single appearance and its idea can never coincide without one of the two forms being damaged. For the sensual instinct wants to be determined. The formal instinct wants to determine itself and the play instinct will strive to receive as the sense strives to receive. The aesthetic state of mind may come a little late in the encounter with the beautiful, but it does not exclude reality, since the mind always has the infinite fullness within itself. In the aesthetic state, Wüst evidently creates his work of art as an aesthetic appearance, and the transformation of reality into a work of art must become increasingly general here with him.
For many a dead letter represents the living mind. The movements within a picture field would also be completely senseless, if they did not describe something that is constantly changing in relation to each other and to the whole. For every picture simultaneously refers to an off, a world beyond the edge of the picture, in which the shown is embedded. Although the off is not visible, it is always thought about by those of us who see it, and is thus also co-created. Image and sound constantly communicate with the off. It is always possible that our gaze falls into this imaginary off and thus makes a section of it visible. The off is created by ourselves and it is and remains uncanny for us. We know that the space must exist outside of this picture field, but we cannot say anything really true about it. The creative act is an attempt to name this space, at the same time we want to get rid of the fear of it. So the creative act never remains artificial and is true because it creates life, and this life is in our own way the offstage connection with nature.
When you know all these little tricks, much of what seemed like magic is just a game. And also only a path for the spirit to follow. That’s why the hero preferred this, to get to the source of the water. To those fragrant yellow shores. Black with fir trees, into whose depths the hunter walks. Around noon and the resinous trees groan softly as they grow. The viewer must be the extended author here. He is the higher instance, who already has the thing chewed up by the lower instance. Meanwhile, the feeling is conveyed by the director, and when reading the book the raw and educated nature of the book is again eliminated, and if the reader were to edit the book according to his idea, a second reader and a third and also a fourth reader would explain and pre-chew even more. Thus, by filling the edited mass again and again into fresh vessels, the mass finally becomes an essential part of the effective spirit.
Therefore, the cinematic study of a literary work must not be allowed to have its purpose in maximally fulfilling the images that literature creates in the reader. This claim would be absurd anyway, since every reader reads every book with his or her own reality and thus every book provokes as many different fantasies and images as there are readers. Just as any attempt to make film as a substitute for a piece of literature would only produce the lowest common denominator of imagination. This denominator would therefore inevitably be more mediocre and duller in the end.
But the river seems almost like a single river. Many things could be further developed. But why? Because the other river, this one has gone away, to the side, because rivers flow even in dry conditions. But how? We need a sign. Nothing more, something simple and plain. To remind us of the sun and the moon, as inseparable as we are from each other, we who go away, like night and day. But to do what? And warm each other in heaven. They give us all joy, the old green of the earth. They are the children of heaven! But he seems too indulgent towards me, not freer, and almost contemptuous. To improve all the beauty and also the chafe, but not wanting to end. Listening to distant breezes and also to all the excitement. Can the representation of a living reality itself become a technique whose development must be prevented? But the rock must be engraved. And the earth needs its furrows. If not, an endless devastation!
But what will a river do then?