Brain Food #499

Leap Into the Void

Thoughts of the day

More than once, recently, I came across the work of avant-garde artist Yves Klein. Though he became famous for patenting his very own version of the colour blue, which we will visit some other day, what caught my eye was a particular photo of his, an act of madness and performance caught in a single frame, called Leap Into the Void.

In the photo, Klein seemingly defies gravity, though in reality his wife and friends were holding a tarpaulin to catch him. Taken in 1960, photomanipulation had not yet become a widely spread concept, and the twisted version of the truth was further enhanced by articles published in a newspaper he created and circulated for the occasion. People believed that Klein did, indeed, leap into the void.

The truth, of course, is rarely as it seems. Appearances will always deceive. But there is another message hidden in the photo.

As an artist, and a human, risks need to be taken, often leaping into emptiness, the unknown, even if the reality of gravity is always looming. With a leap, we can detach ourselves from the heaviness of reality, if we dare to let go of who we are, and what we are made of, even momentarily (though it might be better if a safety net - sometimes a literal one - is present).

"Saut dans le Vide"

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