Luc Schol

I’m interested in the sublime. By the ‘sublime’ I mean: an immediate sensation of beauty that bypasses thought, and is therefore more authentic, pure and intimate. I became an artist because I encounter these immediate, emotional and ephemeral moments from time to time. It’s only during these periodical moments that I feel serene, and I no longer feel so divorced from reality. I’m curious to what remains of the individual connection to art when one resists their urge to understand, and just experiences it with his/her version of reality and their widely ranged set of emotions. I want to convey that feeling of an emotional response to a scene through my work.

In my research to translate these ideas to a visual strategy I noticed that many visual cues such as construction and people initiated a quest for context and stories.  Later, I learned that nature lends itself well for photography that resists conscious interpretation, as it has a contemplative and grand quality that is universally understood.  By photographing these ‘Contemplative Landscapes’ with a minimalistic approach in composition and colour I was curious if these grand scenes would initiate the emotional response to my viewers and would let them just ‘be’ for a moment.

In my work, I explore the relation between understanding and experiencing in a post-truth digital reality. Does one need to understand the world in order to experience it? Through the act of creation, the artist negates himself outside of the reality he interprets. By inviting the viewer to watch and interpret his work, the artist makes the viewer complicit in this act of self-alienation. Through countless interpretations, and interpretations of interpretations, the viewer en masse becomes increasingly divorced from reality. It is this process that splinters our communal understanding of reality to the point that we lose the fundaments on which to build intellectual discourse. I’m interested in what remains of the individual experience when one resists the effort to understand it. It is only through resisting the urge to understand the world that he may experience it, and become ‘one’ with it.

How can one achieve an authentic Heideggerian sense of Being when my generation's memories are built in environments that are increasingly inauthentic? Can a digital mountain, essentially an interpretation, exist in the same undeniable way a physical mountain can? And can it therefore offer the same sensation of ‘Being' to a viewer? If it cannot, the viewer is subject to a dire dilemma. He can only choose between feeling like an alien in nature or feeling divorced from himself online. A more flexible view of authenticity of man-made environments is essential.

I have equally authentic memories of the Internet as of real life. I have played video games since I was a kid, and I never stopped. I am part of a generation that experiences the digital world along side the physical world, as opposed to on top of it. Therefore, nature does not have the complete meditative holistic quality that it had for the Romantic artists that I admire. I cannot return to nature, I can only flee to it. It is interesting to me that retreating to nature, away from the digital world, has now become an act of escapism. Whereas the digital world of videogames - typically contextualized as tools for escapism - has become an integral part of my understanding of reality.

Essentially, my work is a journey towards sublation between the digital and physical worlds, by means of searching for an authentic state of being regardless of context of location. By means of grand, aesthetic and hypnotic still and moving pieces I invite my viewers to release themselves from context and go into a state of emotional experience. With this emphasis my work is capable of attracting a large audience, as it has no ‘entry level’ most art has but does contain an optional depth.

I wish to arrange all my pieces together to form an exhibition I call Is This What Happens To Kids That Get Lost In The Forest? This is an associative project I which I want to combine all the projects and pieces I create according to my ideas about the immediate experience and combine this with my vision and research regarding the authentic experience in inauthentic environments. By invoking the same experience from different sources as I combine imagery from the real world (the contemplative landscape) with imagery from the man made and digital realms (my videogame landscapes and video works) I wish to investigate the question of what is real and if it matters.

The title is a reference to an in-game location in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time called the Lost Woods wherein the player and other inhabitants are bound to get lost. Similarly, I want to push my audience to get lost wandering around my works without a sense of context, without knowing where the work is made or in what environment. This arrangement of the works is also a reference to the way my generation experiences the world and media and the way one plays an open world videogame. There are snippets from everywhere, all the time, waiting for you to explore.