Helen Robertson


in the gap between past and future 2021 digital print dimension variable,  Utopia In Crisis, Bauhaus University Weimar

In relation to the ethos of the Bauhaus and how its revolutionary potential might pertain to the contemporary moment I appropriated a fragment of text from Hannah Arendt’s essay The Gap Between Past And Future. In the latter Arendt describes an interval between past and future in which the living can become challengers, taking “a stand against past and future”.  In my photograph (a film still from a danced choreography to camera that responds to the building plan of Eileen Gray’s Villa E.1027) the dancer’s body occupies the idea of Arendt’s metaphorical interval: a gap that allows for the possibility to think and act anew. Through juxtaposition of text and image, Arendt’s interval is set in tension with the dancer’s embodiment of Gray’s architecture. Gray worked both with and against the precepts of modernism to open onto uncharted modes of design and living. The architectural horizon line in my photograph references Villa E-1027’s maritime location and for me enacts the idea of a fulcrum between the seen and the as yet unseen.