JONAH SACK AND GAIL BEHRMANN
Our real, lived experience of landscape does not only involve space. It also involves time. Moving through, or over, a landscape takes time. Seeing also requires time: consider the time needed to look around and see the landscape in front of you, as your eyes constantly change their focus, direction, and view. Sometimes, if we move through it in a train or bus or car, it appears as if the landscape is moving, rushing past us.
Jonah Sack seems to be re-creating this sensation, by creating a book of translucent pages which reveal the changing landscapes as one turns the pages. Sack’s Broken Line is drawn on tracing paper, which allows you just a partial view of what is coming next, until you turn the page and yet another partial view appears. And so, involving time, it enables one to see what’s coming as if the landscape unfolds, one view unfolding into the next, exactly as it does when you ride through countryside.
Gail Behrmann’s Beyond the River and Into the Trees is also a book – a concertina book, or “leporello”. It is usually stored folded up. But in order to see the artwork, the viewer needs to go through the physical act of opening it up, part by part – another process involving time, as a journey does. Even its title implies movement through space and places.
Both these artworks also involve the use of one’s hands as well as one’s eyes. How do you think would this affect one’s experience of them?