This also explains why these drawings in Stommeln are not firmly installed as pictures or as sculptures. It explains why we need to extract them from their cases: In this way no frontality is ever actually produced. The visual, the purely optical phenomenon emerges through touch: we need to take hold, we need to exert effort. Even then, there is no fixed image: the steel and glass produce reflections, and the view through the steel plate penetrates to the space behind it. Similarly, while we look at the glass plate, we see through it into the open space. This is all self-evident and easily understood, yet it changes how we see and how we relate to what we see. We are unable to reproduce what we see simply because it cannot be defined – as object or sculpture – for it cannot be captured as an image.
At this point we can understand why Maria Nordman did not place anything inside the synagogue. This would have produced in our consciousness a limited, internalized image, a distinction between inside and out. The drawings outside on the marketplace create a continuity between inside and out, without blurring either. When we enter the interior of the synagogue, we are still conscious of the drawings outside, yet the interior remains what it is, it retains its voice, its memory and its specific dignity.
Ultimately none of this is mythical; on the contrary, it is utterly realistic. It is much more than an optical illusion, a surface, a façade: in fact, it reveals the infinity of reality. In this light, our attempt to separate the foreground from its background is revealed as unrealistic. Our longing for delimitation and accentuation – whether it be in art, politics, society or in our own loves and hates is actually what is mythical.
Maria Nordman shows us a different way of thinking. Of seeing differentiation concurrently with continuity; of seeing the exterior concurrently with interior – and beyond: of grasping differentiation and unification simultaneously. These two are not