DARKNESS

Darkness a monochromatic black canvas, as the antithesis of Pristine, represents the painting full to the bursting point, on the verge of explosion. The cleansing ritual that comes with the act of burning the piece represents a reunification of the end and the beginning - new possibilities arise once more.

 

Smearing it with tar, then igniting this, even further intensifies the blackness of the wooden slab. What results is a surface of pure darkness, in which various indentations suggest the damage that has been done to the material. Unlike the initial black canvas, created by Malevich, which had a machine-like quality, the making process behind Franzen’s art must be made visible, as well as recorded, in order to show the power that lies behind creating this piece. Destroying the darkness in order to heal is an important aspect of this work. The act of destruction is thus no glorification of violence, but rather a symbolic-ritualistic act of liberation, an act of cleansing.

 

Darkness does not merely represent an end; it signifies a new beginning. It could even be seen as the original, true beginning, since Franzen believes that the universe did not emerge from light, but instead from darkness. To represent that thought in this piece, all is needed to be burned down in order to start again, and from the void that remains, new images are bound to be created.  The silence, emptiness, and origin that the burning of all ideas, names, faces and forms brings, develops into pure possibility to disrupt the newly created void again. The more literal representation of such act can be traced back to the

burning of encyclopaedia’s, which is a part of the series as well. All of this signifies an absolute end, nothing, and beginning.

 

“Everything needs to be burnt down. Everything needs to be eliminated until nothing remains, to the state before anything is born. Norms, forms, motifs are eliminated until only the raw, empty archetype remains.

 

In my work I want to revert to this original state because it is an immortal one, it is omnipresent, universal.  The original state contains the truth, the entity and the essence. To get there one has to dispose of everything, all needs to die and be brought back to nothingness. The image and therefore the human being, the creator, the observer is inevitably being forced to revert to the original state. The effect impacts the observer in the deepest levels; one now is able to observe the true essence of being. Nameless, formless, timeless, space less, unintentional and will-less. I believe that it is the task of the creator and the image to be responsible to the original state and to derive norms that are truthful and thus indispensable for everything. It asks the question of what the nature of things is, what is the truth? What exists before the will? Before the established?  What is reality? What comes before belief, religion, before knowledge and silence? Destruction is the creative act that reverts us to the original being.”

 

Franzen’s Darkness pieces are to be considered his obscurest but also an extremely natural one. The act of burning truly related to the most basic instincts and Franzen is able to put such thoughts into an artist palpable investigation.