TOUCHING THE SUN / PIESKARTIES SAULEI
If you stare at the sun with a naked eye, light might be the last thing you will ever see. It would mean touching the sun in the most direct and ultimate way possible. Physical sight always starts with the apple of the eye, which is also round, just like the world or the sun. Eyes are like two suns in a human head. A solar eclipse is like two black suns or suns that see darkness or are darkness themselves. Sightlessness is often spoken of as a different kind of sight. In Greek mythology, Tiresias was blind and yet was able to see things hidden behind the visible world. In Schiller’s poem, the knowledge-thirsty young man’s attempt to see the truth ends not with losing his eyesight but with death. What does it mean to see?
The area hosting Cēsis Art Festival for the third-year running is known to the residents of Cēsis as the territory of the ‘blind’. This place was created during the Soviet years to centre the lives of visually impaired and sightless people around the Cēsis Training and Production Enterprise that operated under the auspices of the Latvian Society of the Blind. Pedestrian crossings on Raiņa and Krišjāņa Valdemāra streets flanking this place are equipped with an additional traffic sign ‒ ‘Sightless Pedestrians’.
In our conversations we frequently go back to Shakespeare; Gloucester, referring to the loss of his sight, says: ‘Were all the letters suns, I could not see one,’ and King Lear tells him to ‘look with thine ears’. The paradox of this thought rings very true.
The sound of Touching the Sun invites to wait. It is a miniature version of factual reality, its idea borrowed from the pedestrian crossings equipped with sound signals for the benefit of sightless people. This fragment of sound is the waiting bit that comes before crossing a road. It asks us to stop and unfolds like an ascetic infinite musical piece, transforming into a ritual.
Metal, plastic film, plastic, speakers
3,5 x 8 x 8 m
Video - loop
Flying Closer to the Sun
Curator: Daiga Rudzāte
Art Festival Cēsis 2021
10 / 07 - 22 / 08 / 2021
Photos © Krista Dzudzilo