catrine Val

Photographer
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Location: Kassel
Nationality: Germany
Biography: Born in Cologne/Germany, Val started out her career in Vienna/Austria working in the field of advertising, as a commercial artist. Feeling unfulfilled in this profession, Val fled to the arts, beginning the course of studies at the Art Academy in... read on
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PHILOSOPHER the dismal science
Credits: catrine val
Updated: 01/05/14

PHILOSOPHERS, the dismal science

In “Philosophers”, I examine the loss of connection to nature in our modern, technically driven world. A longing for nature, as a fixed reference point and an intact romantic worldview in which man and nature are in harmony, is facing an accelerating demise in our fully mechanized/digitized age.

Today nature, where they still exist in its original ways, have become a alienated  terrain. The yearning for Nature as a fixed reference point and the wishful thinking of a romantic, harmonious and intact worldview, humans and nature are in conformity, is facing an ever quickening time device of our completely technological age.Vaguely formulates, the longing after enjoying a romantic reversion, which is able to overcome the feeling of emptiness and unrelatedness. Slowing down Deceleration is increasingly necessary; the position of humans in In and with Nature requires  a  completely new renegotiation. What is striking,  hat in our contemporary media-led discourse in relationship between man and nature, only politics and sciences commended the topic. The philosophy seems to be played by no role, although it were but formerly philosophers, who have helped shape this discourse at the forefront. "Philosophers" now reactivates classical positions of philosophy on this issue and tests their contemporary relevance. My own person, as the embodiment of of some of the historical models, not only serves as a request, that contemporary reply to the fundamental question of according to the relation between man and nature, also explicitly feminine perspectives need to included.

Art’s role changes in a world suffused with generated images. It is imperative to reflect on what are often highly sensitively charged worlds of images, the ways they are represented. In these rapidly changing times, modern life has become far-removed from anything resembling authenticity or truth. The relationships between nature and technology, language and body, body and space, have changed significantly. The order of the day is to understand the world from the vantage point of abstraction and not to abstract from the world.In our post internet society, the way we regard communication and identity has been altered. Man is the only specie that can transmit and expand his knowledge from generation to generation; but such transmission requires a process of thought on the part of the individual. 

In a historical sense, Philosophy claimed to provide a rigorous method to search for the meaning of life, and it was a precious substitute for dogmatic religion. But in modern times, religion among the educated classes in Europe and North America has lost ground, and intellectuals are neglecting the basic human need to find answers. Philosophy has shrunk in reputation and stature.In contemporary society, women are rarely found inhabiting a highly austere, analytical space, such as the one which philosophy involves. Slowly the opportunities are improving, but the role of women in philosophy is still vulnerable, as they seem to inhabit margins of contemporary philosophy  and speculative thoughts. The genre of philosophy that prevails literately arises from the need of our times. This is the age of the Internet in which we are constantly flooded by fragmented information. Each person with a computer is embarking on a quest for and fabrication of his or her identity. The web mimics human neurology, and it is fundamentally altering young people's brains. The web, for good or bad, is instantaneous. Philosophy belongs to a vanished age of much slower and rhetorically formal inquiry.

By referring to the external visual similarities of historical and current philosophers and the characteristics of their work, a reference to the historical philosopher, which incorporates his life and work, is made. As a contemporary interpretation of traditional philosophic thinking, “Philosophers” takes advantage of the iconographic approach of current media discourse. “Philosophers” as one oeuvre is itself an open system: it employs transformations, mirror images, doublings and replications to develop realist fictions that amaze and surprise the beholder and raise questions concerning functional contexts as well as ideas of value. It exposes the effects of individualism and technicality on modern man's position within his natural environment. “Philosophers” bring together different approaches in ideas and longings, which in their own way all aim to go beyond postmodern thinking. The concept of „philosophers“ is a quest for a new terminology and a new grammar of thinking about contemporary art and focus on a new meaning of vision and gender.

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