“Our sensory perceptions are unreliable. They give us no lasting certainty. In the passage of time, our eyes – whether open or shut – are bombarded by an array of images. Individual images vanish in the maelstrom, devoid of shape and contours…” anonymous.
That experience accompanies everywhere, in our waking and sleeping hours. No one remembers in minute detail what came unwittingly into sight when standing at traffic lights, driving along in the car, watching TV in the evening, gazing into a shop window or on a boating trip. It is this feeling of being helplessly exposed to such momentary perceptions that the artist in his own way resists. “A picture draws a dividing line,“ says Octavio Paz, speaking of works of poetry – of works of art. In that sense, paintings, sculptures and photographs owe their enduring existence to a “privileged moment”, in which they are abstracted from the endless flow of time and so endure. It is a revelation for those who courageously seize that “privileged moment“ and, additionally, for all who recreate that moment and in that themselves.
So far, so good. And against that backdrop what do Thomas Eigel’s pictures achieve ? They delve into this dilemma of time flow and moment. Eigel derives inspiration from the partition between random and selective vision, between meaningless perception and inquisitive illustration. Along his borderline, both spill over and blend into a diffuse creation, precise and yet blurred, an unfocused zoom, fixed yet flowing, motionless yet moving, ultimately perception in indecision, wavering, uncertain, distrustful, sceptical. By superimposing sequence and individualisation, symbolised as abstraction and metaphor, both in transparent strata, he points the way out of the confusion of noncommittal images. With the tools of the modern artist, photographer and digital contemplative, he gives pictorial expression in the aesthetically most sophisticated manner to the concept of the “privileged moment“.