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Randy Saharuni
From November 1st 1986 to November 22nd 1986
Humeur vitrée

Is the image fixed on the film through the “vitreous humor” of the camera more credible than the ones which were fixed on Saharuni’s retina when he was a student? Difficult question to answer with certainty, especially as the results of artist’s new experiments appear to be so paradoxical.

As a pupil, Saharuni experienced disarray confronting the gap between science’s certainties and his own concrete observations. Then, in an effort to limit his incomprehension of nature’s laws, he chose to auscultate the process of rationalization underlying the scientific pursuit. By using grids or diagrams, legends, observed isolated data, ambient blackness as annihilation of contextual references, and reinforcing this “mise en scène” of scientificity with the titles such as Technical analysis, Descartes Dilemma, Big Bang Small Universe, Saharuni’s current exhibit “Vitreous Humor” assumes indeed the character of a scientific investigation. Yet the objects under investigation appear to be quite parodic: ping-pong balls, Styrofoam flakes, mousetraps, paper-airplanes, and crackers, screws propelled by an air balloon… They force a smile from the viewer; even though the scientific dimension of these images remain more serious than it can appear at first.

Chaim Tannenbaum, examining Saharuni’s work in 1982 fount in it a poetic equivalent to twentieth century science’s re-examination of previous mathematical and logical certainties. Heisenberg’s work had presumed that velocity and location of an object are determinable in only an inverse proportional way. “It is precisely this post-Heisenbergian unclear reality which Mr. Saharuni’s photographs reveal.” Indeed it is a question of movement here: something is balancing, falling or bursting, leaving a luminous trace hardly identifiable except in those moments simultaneously. Is this a paradoxical demonstration of Heisenberg’s theories? A simple confrontation with the signs of exact sciences’ certainties? Or ultimately a simple artistic commentary? One thing is sure: despite a certain contiguity with real the photographic experience does not, after all, appear more convincing, or less problematic, for a definition of the real, than the retinal experience.

What remains is perhaps the image of an artist-scientist, similar to da Vinci; with, this time, an intershocking of the artistic and scientific experiences. We imagine with humour the scientist-artist, one-man-band: one hand throwing the paper airplanes while pressing the shutter with the other, and then setting off the flash; all this after setting in motion the mouse-trap’s wire frame. Finally, what we have is a parodic way to introduce some quite fundamental questions: Is art a means towards knowledge and apprehension of the world? Is science too an intuitive and hypothetical expression?
- Press release (Optica)

Bibliographie
Simon, Cheryl, « One Against the Other », C Magazine, # 13, mars 87, p. 56-57.
Photo Sélection, novembre 1986, p. 61.