In nineteen Suzanne Duchamp received a birthday present from her brother Marcel. The gift was an instruction; to hang a geometry book onto a clothesline, on the balcony of her Paris apartment. He wanted the theorems to “get the facts of life” by being exposed to the sun, the rain, the wind and the frost. A paradox arises here, in this humorous artistic communication between a brother and sister, because life itself is geometric. All shapes, all lines, the way we perceive them, are basic and in its complexion ruled by the all evolving rules of trigonometry. Even sounds are visually translated after geometric principles. These guidelines which geometry provides, rules our inner sense of chemical balance, defines our success in mapping space itself, with lenses based on and developed after geometric principles, mounted on geometric machines, flowing through the universe in an immense and incomprehensible speed. Even the universe itself is geometric. Geometry is reality itself and what lies beyond. Our dreams are the only force which has some potential in disturbing these rules of order. Who or what created these rules, this seemingly orderly management of matter, their relation to each other, is the basis of all existential thinking. Since man was able to systematize these principles through mathematics and language some fifty thousand years ago we’ve been bounded and grounded in these principles.
Color, line, song, that’s art in its purest state, the post-modern messiah of philosophy; Gilles Deleuze, once stated. These days we feel the time of simplicity and innocence is behind us. In our attempt to grasp the enormity of a zeitgeist seemingly without border, neither in culture nor aesthetics, we stagnate. In reviving old book covers through the most simplistic of paintings, Josefine Lyche is merging the past with the present, design with conceptual art, the ordinary with the extreme. The Arts and Their Mission converses with Truth and science. Balance in Teaching lectures Man and the World of the Stars. Surfaces meant to appeal to an audience of readers in a specific theosophical society in some fifty years ago or more, to increase the platform of these societies, are through the transformation of oil and acrylic on canvas, through the artist breathlessly attempting and urging for mechanic perfection, revived. Here they function as a pure surface on the surface. Here the premises of the readymade merges with the egalitarian mandate of modernism, in a post-modern time. This is done through lines, this is done through color, this is done through the musical rhythm of the human hand. These are pastiches of a continuum in form, reaching its peak in this reappropriation of synthesis, mingled with transparent grids of heterogeneous outlines, seemingly disturbing the peace of this potpourri of panacea.
Through the minor imperfections of the individual reinterpretation, the individual preferences of nuances and color, the design of this essential commodity is reawakened as art. The scale and the rescheming of the hue grant us permission to grasp the validity of this design, reimagine the arbitrary intentions of these shapes, these forms, these constellations of the surface. A new energy is reinstituted, a signifier of the New Age recharged in a new age we never could have ever imagined in our most lurid phantasms pre-millennium. These are flat footstones of a faded fashion, emphasized with a sophistication so absent in the anemia of now, seemingly soon, hopefully not forevermore. They are defenders of tradition, almost conservative in their origin, while never falling into the trap of nostalgia, unconcerned, a déjà vu of something you once saw on a random flea market. This endeavor is siding with the strong language of graphic traditions, dragging the aesthetics through time and space, into our present into the geography of limitlessness. These images are hymns of time lost, attitude vanished in a whirlpool of digital mist.
There are certain fabrics that somehow is granted more prestige than others, even though their ability in themselves, a function, are equal. Gold triumphs Wolfram, the linseed oil triumphs the acrylic polymer emulsion, the embroidery triumphs the latch hook. Somehow we take this hierarchy of matter for granted, attempting to equalize this pyramid is quite a challenge, because you’re immediately impeaching the history of matter itself, it’s role in societies and distance to the people. Taking the side of the latch hook is a subversive act, the artist is, in this case, pulling the concave, the convex, the cyclic, the equilateral, the equiangular, the regular star, literally down onto and into the rug. These basic geometrical structures are submerged, normalized, taken for granted. These evident grounded shapes are materialized into objects totally lacking social class, they become grounded, democratized, which they always were anyway.
Josefine Lyche is balancing on a fine line, a snail crossing a razorblade, and surviving. Her symbolic universe is basic, though universal, communicating with our most basal instincts in relation to form, content, matter, though at the same time igniting a potential for a study of totality. Herein lies an understanding revealing the building blocks of linguistics, semiotics, and alchemy. Her assemblages take the most profane and reverent into account, with a sensitivity for the border between the miscellaneous and what’s evident. If you can’t take it you can deal with neither the essence of reality nor life. Symbols mean something, almost too much, which encourages us to take them for granted. They should be taken very seriously, Even though they’re sometimes stuck and frozen by the rhythms and the flows of society, they always have the potential to be regained. They’re like the pollen of perception, always reinforced by imagination, finding new functions with every breath of any individual they encounter. Like sailors on the rough sea, we’re confronted with the shining beacon, the cosmic shoutout, the light showing us the path to quieter shores. Here the divine order found within all nature is synthesized into an assemblage with the potentiality of alchemic effect on the soul itself. Within us, all symbols, all shapes, are waiting to be layered, unified, dancing through our perception. The vesica piscis marrying the diamond tunnel, undisturbed by the vanity of the verve.