In the short story «The cares of a family man» which first appeared in Franz Kafka’s’ short stories collection A Country Doctor. Short stories, a family man tells of a strange form -Odradek- that haunts his house. Neither its name, nor its form, nor its behavior patterns provide much information about the meaning of its existence. To humans, Odradek remains a riddle.
In the photo of Jeff Wall (above), the American artist interprets the fictional content of Kafka’s’ story and its milieu and atmosphere – at an actual place (No 8, Taboritska Street= and at a specific time (18 July 1994). Various perspectives on time, place and action interlace in his shot in a way that is similar to film or theatre. Past and present are superimposed, and an open space of meaning is generated within the text. Kafka’s’ text conveys the influence of the subconscious, the hidden and the repressed on our imagination and understanding of reality.Walls’ cinematographic image corresponds to this, with a fluent exchange between the documentary and the fictional, between light and shadow, between what is in focus and what is blurred, between what can be seen and what only seems to be.
what: Odradek, Jeff Wall, photography, 1994
where: at the Center for Fine Arts, Brussels, part of the exhibition «The power of the Avant-Garde, Now and Then», (29/9/2016-22/1/2017)
when: Wednesday, 26/10/2016