Discovering a Hidden Treasure
If we experience and enjoy a work of art through the free play of emotion, the distance between the artist and the outside world can be reduced to the lowest common denominator for this moment of perception. That this can also function across great stretches of time is amazing yet entirely possible.
The limits of time
The over 30,000 year old drawings on the walls of the cave at Chauvet in the south of France that were discovered about 25 years ago and thankfully revealed to us by Werner Herzog in his documentary Cave of Forgotten Dreams awaken in spectators a thrilling feeling of immediacy despite the huge gulf of time that separates us from the moment of their creation. It’s as though we were pitched at a dizzying height traversing huge gorges of time on a spiritual rope bridge, as though the limits of time were abolished in the moment of viewing.
A rare freedom
These prehistoric wall paintingss stand for themselves. In this sense they are similar to OUBEYs art and are also related to it in another sense in a highly individual way. They are hidden treasures that have remained untouched and unseen for a certain period of time. Their existence in concealment confers on them a freedom of a kind that can scarcely be found today. This freedom is implicit in them and transfers to us when we view them. We can discover them, enjoy them and let them work on us in a rare kind of pure immediacy.