WORK IN CON.TEXT: Hole in the sky by Michal Martychowiec

hole in the sky
Hole in the sky, 2018

Hole in the sky is an installation by artist Michal Martychowiec that is currently being realised at the OCAT museum in Nanjing, China. 


Mirror flower water moon
(Chinese idiom) 

The usual way of looking and thinking of the world is that of divisions. The Chinese idiom above is essentially referring to the very same aspect, the divided space where from one side it is impossible to reach the other.
Dividing the world is nothing else than creating borders and so essentially the law.
In the Roman Law, we read the borders ‘come from heaven and last eternally’. In the book of Genesis we find similar information: “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” The world is created as a divided place: earth – heaven, life – death, here – there.
Here and there is a similar parallel to that which comes to mind in regards to the mirror and the ‘other’ side of it. A reflection of the sky on the surface of the lake is peculiar (and perhaps that is why in a Japanese myth to enter the afterlife one had to go through a reflection of the full moon on the surface of water) – as it is bringing the heavens and the earth together.
What of the hole – it is what remains unchanged, as it sucks everything in while the world changes around it. Black holes are believed to be phenomena where the established physical laws no longer apply. A hole is a space outside the borders (between heaven and earth). It is a sacred space, in the ambiguous way of the Latin term sacer – sacred and cursed at the same time – escaping borders, divisions and laws.
To the man long in the past, the image of a hole in the sky would indeed sound like the end of the world. However, the end of the world does not mean the end where there is nothing afterwards. It is an end, that of established borders and alike in Milosz’ poem: life moves on, there are no thunders, the hole in the sky conjoins heaven and earth, life and death, and after the world ends, a new world, not bound by old laws arises.
The installation fulfils its idea in reality. Reality can be imposed only through art; as Agamben remarks: ‘Art does not render something present through its image; instead, it renders present, so to speak, the image itself ’. 

hole1Hole in the sky, 2018


Michal Martychowiec lives and works is Berlin. Martychowiec creates conceptual series of photographs, films, drawings, neons, objects, mixed media installations and environments. He is a visiting lecturer at the Russian Institute of History of Art (Russian Academy of Sciences) in St. Petersburg and the China Academy of Art in Hang-
zhou. Recent exhibitions include: solo shows Reading history at the Signum Foundation Gallery in Łódź, and Do you believe in art ? at MMS2 in Berlin.

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