The desire to penetrate beyond appearance to the inner reality of things is a permanent trait and an ineradicable demand of the human spirit.
On this art project I aim to set forth to the underlying substratum of them beneath the surface.
The highest form of spirit is self- consciousness. This is attained where thought has itself for its object. In this form, since it is its own object, it is for itself. It is then being-for-self.
At the stage of being the mind seizes directly upon what is before it, takes that for a simple unity, an ultimate, independent, absolute being, and rests in that. But at the stage of essence, the mind passes beyond the immediate being to a second term and seeks to apprehend the relation between the two.
The main character of the sphere of essence, in general, is that everything is regarded in a double aspect. We no longer take the world at its face value. We distinguish between what it is in essence, and what it seems. We seek to probe into its inner being. Under the accidents, we seek the substance. For every effect, we demand to know the cause, and so on. All those categories which imply a dual nature, consisting of a being that supports and a being that is supported, come under the general head of essence, and involve the idea of an underlying substratum beneath the immediate being which is directly presented to us.
Two sides of essence come before us in the first instance, as essence and the unessential. It will readily be seen that what we have here is the general conception of the sphere of essence. For it involves as it were two layers of being, an outer and an inner. The outer being is the sphere of difference, the inner being is the underlying identity that supports the difference. The two sides are not two things, but there is one and the same thing which is now taken as essence, now as appearance. It is the essence that appears, and not anything else, and hence the appearance is the essence.
When an existent is regarded in this double aspect it is then what we call a Thing. The thing is a contradiction. On the one hand, it is a reflection-into-self, and as such is wholly independent of all else, stands in its own rights as a self-subsistent existence. On the other hand, it is a reflection-into-another and as such is wholly dependent on another. It is thus an existence whose very independence annuls itself and turns out to be dependence. Existence so conceived is appearance.
We are familiar with the thought that the sense-world is an appearance. This, however, is a comparatively advanced philosophical conception. The sense-world does not come before us in the first instance as an appearance. On the contrary, it purports to be wholly self-subsistent and substantial. The solid rock, it seems, is something ultimate and absolute, resting wholly in itself. This is the point of view of unreflective consciousness which takes the rock for something absolute. But with the advance of philosophical thought, the mind comes to see that this independence and self-subsistence is at the same time wholly dependent on something else, upon the absolute reality, and that it is simply the appearance of that. It is important to realize that the thing considered as appearance is a contradiction. To say that the thing has no being of its own but wholly depends on another, would not involve it in any contradiction, but it would deprive the thing of any reality whatever; it would mean that it is utterly empty and void, has no being at all, is merely a show, an abstract.
Distinction between inner and outer is an empty one. They collapse to unity. Inner and outer are not of course to be thought of in the primary acceptance of the words which gives them a purely spatial meaning. It is not, for example, the inside and the outside of a box which is here in view. It is rather the inner and the outer as the essence and manifestation of things respectively. The essence has its very being in the appearance; it must pass into appearance. This means that it is essential for the essence to appear; it is its very nature to appear.
Buried in a liquid grave (120*50 cm oil/canvas)
Looking at yourself while looking at yourself (100*80 cm oil/canvas)
Creeping Erosion; From Fear, From Want (180*145 cm oil/canvas)
Dying where I stand (100*80 cm oil/canvas)
Staring into the abyss (100*80 cm oil/canvas)
His face greeted me with ice (180*145 cm oil/canvas)