The Fragile Sublime (Research lab)


  • 05.06 > 17.06.2023

The subli­me in its roman­tic tra­di­ti­on is pro­vo­ked by bom­bas­tic expe­rien­ces, often refer­ring to extre­me situ­a­ti­ons of (out­si­de) phe­no­me­na (storms in high moun­tains, ship­wrecks,…). It is an out-of-sca­le expe­rien­ce and it is always a fic­ti­on as it imp­lies a dis­tan­ce bet­ween the phe­no­me­non and the behol­der. In the body of work that I am cre­a­ting, this ambi­va­lent dis-orien­ta­ti­on hap­pens with forms that invol­ve the spec­ta­tor in a dif­fe­rent way. The situ­a­ti­on that is either pro­po­sed from the start or that evol­ves through time is fra­gi­le. It can fail at any moment. It is on a ver­ge, at a tip­ping point. But, on the con­tra­ry to the roman­tic subli­me, it is not a fic­ti­on. It is not a repre­sen­ta­ti­on of a fra­gi­le situ­a­ti­on. It is real­ly hap­pe­ning in the spa­ce. And pre­ci­se­ly becau­se it is situ­a­ted at a fra­gi­le thres­hold the spec­ta­tors rea­li­se that they have agen­cy on what is hap­pe­ning. They are pla­ced in the situ­a­ti­on of being res­pon­si­ble for it. My research ana­ly­ses the stra­te­gy, goals and sig­ni­fi­ca­ti­on of this tran­si­ti­on from aes­the­tic expe­rien­ce to ethi­cal responsibility. 

This is the second research lab orga­ni­sed in the fra­me of my PHD Research at KASK/​School of Arts and UGent.

©David Weber-Krebs