Geirthrudur Finnbogadottir Hjorvar



DESARGUES THEOREM LECTURE - 2017

A 25-minute video in the form of a lecture about geometry.




Desargues’s Theorem Lecture is a video that relies on the assumption that ideas have shapes. It also assumes that the ideas embodied by shape are loaded with a sense of emotion. This is a point that I’ve always had a hard time explaining to others, despite the fact that aesthetics is based precisely on this — the capacity of shape and form to convey meaning on a plane of significance other than what rationality normally dictates. Even so, I doubt either shapes and forms may be so interesting in themselves. At least to the degree that modernism has passed into the sphere of the quaintly passé. It is the relationship between them that holds the key. And within that, simply the word “relationship.”

If such a thing as a relationship appears between form, it is interesting precisely because it is then a more distilled evocation of that phenomenon. Leading to a clearer view of its mechanism. That is of relationships per se. But as the term usually leads one to think of those that happen between humans, one may if one wishes, think of forms as placeholders for people. Allowing the passing viewer to associate more directly, more emotionally, to the evocation of forms that have relationships with each other.

That being said, Desargues’s Theorem Lecture may be understood as being a coded love letter. If one listens to it one way, it can be read as a confession of affection, the acceptance of an ending, and the coded threat of my re-claiming that object of affection to which the letter is addressed. And if not a love letter than a letter of lust.... if one is to be more exact.

I heard a joke once, that as every form is necessarily a symbol for the sexual organs —everything either protrudes or is indented — and as each dream is really about repressed sexual desires, then only dreams about sex are about something else. Anything meaningful, at least to the degree it is outside the sexual economy of drives, can therefore be expressed solely through sexual metaphors. Ergo alchemy. The fusion of diverse and polar oppositional elements.

Which may go some way to explain my insistence on discussing geometry. As it presents a gateway, or perhaps something akin to a vertiginous chasm, wherein meaning may be altered by virtue of a form’s encounter with other forms. The possibilities are endless. But the moment at which abstraction becomes representation remains permanently lodged at the horizon.

Then there is the question of representation itself. While the video is simultaneously a metaphor for human relations and those between forms, or rather than the artist’s affection for them, that is also not what it is about. Instead it is about itself as form, or about the medium by which those metaphors are delivered in a style based on TV commercials, sponsored media, YouTube explanatory videos and mass communication in general. Or in another words, the uncanny clumsiness of the trying to convince someone of one’s own view. Which is to say that the artist had been somewhat fascinated by the communicative aesthetic of the 21st century when creating a moving image about geometry.

Supported by the Mondriaan Fund.