I read a piece of news about the story of the original one kilogram prototype, which exact weight was decided on in France in 1889. For some reason, the IPK, as it is known, has decreased in weight by around forty micrograms during a century. Hypothetically, it will have disappeared completely in 300 billion years. The birth of the Kilogram, nearly 150 years ago, feels not far from my time. It is part of modern history, yet, its future is unimaginable.
I recalled the story when I was sitting by my table, drawing kilometers on paper by repeating a single ten centimeter line ten thousand times. I found the slowness of my gesture so very different from any other human physical activity - someone walking that slow would appear to stand still - its end destination diffuse, still tangible; a line leading to the next one, to eventually become a distance. There, during this repetitious exercise, a meditative space, between the everyday world and the unthinkable, opened up to me.
I began to reflect on and compare philosophical thoughts of the East and concepts related to minimal art, to the experiences of the relativity of time, speed, distance, presence and absence. Repetition as a working method, with its voiding effect, challenges the fundamental notion of time and space. It offers new perspectives on how to perceive the nature of distance and the possibilities how to experience space, which seem to be unreachable to the rational mind.
My work Towards Nothing has philosophical background; I am trying to see behind the rational self, to uncover the relation between what is seen as rational on the one hand, and what is perceived as irrational on the other. My methods, techniques and concepts vary, but the core question is the same: What are the possibilities of Man to observe and understand the world beyond the rational mind? Art historical connections to minimalism and conceptualism provide a framework for the ideas on how I create a visual piece of work. Sol LeWitt asked for the irrational thought to be followed absolutely and logically. Likewise, rational thoughts can be followed irrationally, and, as in the case of the IPK, rational experiments can result in the discovery of something irrational.Download Rikala's Statement