“What we can explain of the world is far less than what we cannot.”

Hiroshi Sugimoto’s “Revolution” exhibit in the Espace de Van Gogh introduces us to Sugimoto’s idea that, “There remains, however, a great divide between comprehending the world and being able to explain what we ourselves are. And even then, what we can explain of the world is far less than what we cannot.” When first exploring his photography, I couldn’t comprehend it. I had no scale to relate myself to. As I explored more I realized his photos captured his gaze at the horizons and were rotated 90 degrees. As I walked through another third of the exhibit with my head cocked to the left to better understand the photos I came to the conclusion that I better appreciated the photos when I didn’t quite know where I was nor where I stood. I felt like I was detached from the real world and had entered an alternate universe. Sugimoto described an out-of-body experience in that late spring of 1982 where he watched a sunset and moon rise from a cliff in Newfoundland, he said “I was far above from the earth’s surface gazing at the moon adrift over the sea, while another me—a tiny speck—remained spellbound on the ground.” Looking at his work we were placed far above the earth’s surface along with him. We became bigger than the moon, yet understood that we remained a tiny speck in his exhibition. What an supernatural experience.

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