Michel Kapelli
Michel Kappeli
Michele Käppeli
Body of the Transitory

Uncharted Spaces – the Body of the Transitory

The rush of data and the flux of images, are part of a general acceleration, of a stream describing a condition of time, of our environment.
The approach to an image of flux is merged with the symbol of the existential, with a basic element: the water – the moving water as a current, as a constantly transfiguring “body”. The speed and the transitory of the current, allow experiments in time expansion and time compression. This were the coordinates of my former light performances which had a guide line of decelerating sound.
The recordings of the babble and murmur of water I stretched and decelerated to its intimate expression of intensified moment.

To capture a purest possible image of the flux, the most consequent way was to reduce technical aids as far as possible. I was obsessed by the idea of an “organic” attitude. For the mechanic functions of a camera I should find other solutions. With analogue photography on the verge of its last breath I found an attitude of reversing the subordination to digital possibilities offered by the industry, to an independent transformation of an idea:

At night the whole space of the valley of Lucelle with its wonderful river serves as a (inverted) body of a camera. A flashlight takes the part of the shutter of the camera. And what takes the function of the lens? If I had no distance to my motif, if I entered it, if the picture were taken within the motif – no lens would be needed.
I hold photosensitive material into this stream… a large format film protected by a slim waterproof case is placed into the water, under the known structures of the surface …to stop the current for a fragment of a moment… the flashlight freezes the image of the moving water to the film. …To enter this volatile interspace… a space known as a transparent liquid with an eventually rippled surface …to extract an image, valid only for this instant.  Due to the incident angle of the flashlight, the image reveals a three-dimensional insight. To a world, known, jet totally disguised: a body with a physical structure and statics of motion.

What started as a purely conceptional artwork resulted inicially in simple images of a mess of superimposed lines. I cared more about the voices of the darkness and the impact these circumstances have on me, and whether I could cross the border to the atavistic, or if there were other levels of transition.

As the intention was to enter unknown space, I was pleased enough with the result of the images. The recorded sound offered more opportunities for transformation, although with the help of more technical equipment.

Since there is also a reversed effect, from the photographic result back to the water, I learned to read the water. The more the quality of the images improved, the more miracles were extracted. Or more precisely said: that the quality improved, was due to the obsession of working at the river. It was the need to feel that kind of hilarious sense of being a receiver as well as a transmitter.

As a painter I was confused about the aesthetic outcome of my conceptional idea.
Although the media of the result of my concept has a photographic nature, I count myself among the painters. The essence of my intentions is less of a documentary type, than just a way to learn to see.