24/7 - Into The Direction of Light

by Francis Hunger (for the catalogue of the exhibition "Waves" at HartWareKunstverein, Dortmund)

The view of the sea, of the horizon sepa­rating body of water and sky, has been a centuries-old subject for visual artists and has not lost any of its allure. Michael Aschauer has captured this motif on camera and subjected it to a spatial and temporal densification by condensing what was originally a seven-day time-lapse recording to only several minutes of video. In achieving this, Aschauer has applied the specially developed ‘slit-scan’ imaging technique that not only com­presses images temporally, but also spatially. Thus one doesn’t see a simple representation but rather the construction of a landscape consolidated from mani­fold individual ‘slit scan’ images. The images were taken from the perspec­tive of Oros Harasson, a hill located on the Greek island of Syros, the name of which translated means ‘the mountain that inscribes the direction of light’. The image detail focuses on the place at which the sun disappears below the line of the hori­zon during the winter months. Art has been intrigued with the sunset as a phenomenon whose poetical dimensions have roused human beings to happiness, melancholy, hope, and despair – never leaving them untouched. In physics, the light beam radiating from the stars – the suns of other galaxies – fosters the de­scription of the relative relationship be­ tween space and time in the relativity theory. It can be maintained that the con­temporary artistic view of the sea can no longer be purely poetical but furthermore always involves the dimension of physical awareness.