Wednesday, 7 March 2012

That Unbearable Lightness

I chose this title for my book for Book Art Object as I enjoy trying to interpret feelings and intangible things. The sculptural structure I revealed in an earlier post refers to the physical symptoms of vertigo, suggesting the spinning sensations, loss of equilibrium and falling over. I then started working with the physcological aspects of vertigo expressed in Milan Kundera's book The Unbearable Lightness of Being. I wanted to exploit one of the dualities in the book, lightness/weight, which could be seen as light/darkness or positive/negative, and used this as a design guide for the illustrations.

The upper side of the structure (the light side = someone seeking something higher) forms a circular perspective of someone looking up and suffering feelings of vertigo. The lower side (the dark side and emptiness below) shows the perspective of someone looking down from the height of tall buildings to the street and central dark void, a traditional vertiginous experience.

All the characters in Kundera's book have feelings of vertigo at some point, which is seen as a moment of weakness, but the dualities of lightness/weight, bearable/unbearable, being/non-being, weakness/strength, freedom and lack of commitment/weight of responsibility, are ambiguous.

By juxtaposing the vertigo of lightness/weight from both sides, my intention is to pose the same philosophical question as Kundera's book - Is vertigo the lightness or heaviness of existence?

There is a glimpse of the book above and the edition of 15 is finished and ready to go. I have really enjoyed working on this edition and with a streamlined production process in place, making 15 wasn't tedious at all!

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