untitled (The unhewn log)

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Some version of the Tao Te Ching by Laozi contain the concept of the “unhewn log”.

This refers to non-desire, a quality attributed to the old masters. The metaphor points to a will not realized,

a restrain in intervention. Its realization, i.e. the materialization of an idea, is at the same time the reduction of potential to a single will, to an ascertained and ephemeral moment. The unhewn log is not a tree anymore, is not within nature’s whole anymore. But, as Taoism says, it is still in the “way of heaven”.

It is quiet and the world is at peace, it is not a ready-made, shaped and self-conceiving thing. It is separated and therefore perceivable, but still unhewn and undescribed, visible but still in the free state of a small child. As a metaphor, this idea describes a universal truth, one that is only conveyed in picture-form. How are the wooden logs shaped that we might imagine here? How do the very real representatives of this metaphor look? With this ongoing collection the focus is on the umpteen logs that exist all over the world and seem to themselves become individuals by the animating gaze cast here. The perspective that the artist in turn uses as a metaphor may result in an inversion focusing on re-translating real human life that wants to be guided by high allegories or, possibly more realistic, fails by them all too often, looking just as much trimmed and dressed as the hapless decaying logs.