mutually exclusive, but rather belonging together. And the experiential enrichment, the pleasure of her work, its beauty lies precisely in the fact that we are not limited to the immutable, fixed image – the steel, the glass plate, the colour. Ours is an open-ended view; ours is movement; ours is the fluidity of self-transformation. Instead of simply looking at motion, we set ourselves in motion at the same time. This dynamic quality not only evolves in the work before us; it is part of the human dynamic itself. The relationship between the work and its viewer, as well as between one viewer and another, is all about a continuity that transgresses limits; the issue is contact itself and a very real expansion. Here we are confronted with the most open and fundamental quality of our perception and our very existence: light. Inside the glass, inside the steel, inside the colour, we find light. It is not only the precondition of our being able to see, just as air is the precondition of our being able to breathe, it is more, for we see light itself. The air too becomes part of the visible sculpture or drawing. This enables us to understand why Maria Nordman uses the term “light” only in the oldest sense, namely referring to the light of the sun and the stars. This celestial light has an open, indefinable quality – worlds removed from the light that you switch on or off.
Light gives rise to a site, as air gives rise to sound. Maria Nordman’s own words best render tangible this openness and indeterminacy:
And this flow of light which could produce a place, this flow of air which could produce a sound, all of it remaining unpredictable, – this incidence could have a moment of hesitation, in the case that at least two people are there.1
1Maria Nordman, POIEMA (Cologne, 1982).