Exercise 1.6: The contemporary abyss

For this exercise we have to read an essay by Simon Morley from Tate website in the sublime and then choose any body of work that we feel explore the sublime and discuss on it.

This is not an easy concept to discuss. Especially, if not English is your mother language. I have a discussion with a British friend and more or less we said that this is the idea of extreme beauty. Something I found when I tried to look initially on the web or when translate it to Greek. But reading the article by Morley and listening to the podcast from BBC, it is not only that.

It has to do with how we feel when exposed to the beauty of nature or art or religion etc. Something really cannot understand or explain how we feel. These feelings take the mind from “its secure residence inside the House of Reason and throwing it into a boundless situation that was often frightening”.

Before read more about Sublime I was thinking to look for a painting or photo online and discuss for it in this part of course. While reading, I thought to find a beautiful nude photo of a female body and discuss about it. Then, I make my decision when read on the article that “it seems that the most sublime artworks these days tend to be installations”. Many people in our days do not appreciate the contemporary art, maybe because it is not so “artistic” or not so skilful as the great pieces of art of previous years. But maybe the contemporary art has to do more with feeling and understanding. We can feel that more by visiting a contemporary exhibition than looking at photos of it.

I did not know the concept of sublime before. I actually, possibly, never heard or paid attention to this word. But I am sure that I feel strange different when visiting art exhibitions. The piece of art that possibly makes me feel the sublime is an art installation in an exhibition I visited few months ago.




“There was an installation by David Brognon and Stephanie Rollin, which was a clock with a movement detector. When somebody was moving the clock was stop working”. In this post, I spoke about my feeling without having an idea that possibly is the sublime and/ or without having plans to return to that.  

While being there, I stopped and was thinking there is no point on this installation, why they use the space. But then, I start thinking that sometimes the time feels like stop in our life or sometimes we wish to stop the time. But the time is still ticking. This piece of art which I considered pointless make me think a lot of it, and I am still having it in mind, or use it as an example when have a discussion with people who do not appreciate contemporary art. I do not really know if any other piece of art has such an effect on me. 

I really do not know if that is really the correct understanding of sublime, but that is how I understand it. I need to explore it further for my art and my life in general. It is a weird feeling sometimes related to visits to art gallery and while just walking around. It is good to understand these feelings. But after all these reading and discussions it seems like I am not the only one who does not fully understands it 😉



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