Belief that makes a problem not a problem
▲ Information on the Art work: Mel Bochner, 1969, Black Tape, installed at the Gallery Heiner Friedrich in Munich, currently in the MoMA

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In 1969, Mel Bochner exhibited “a piece of art work” that people had never seen before in a gallery in Munich. People who entered the exhibition hall were very bewildered. Instead of paintings or sculptures that should be on the while wall, only black lines and numbers were written indifferently. Lines were drawn along the walls, door frames, and window frames, and the numbers written along with the black lines were the width, length, and height of the walls, doors and windows. By marking the sizes of the gallery walls, Mel Bochner revealed the reality of the walls. What were revealed were only walls of the sizes.

This radical work is in fact dealing with human perception experiences. Human beings perceive objects according to their psychological states. Some objects appear larger than they really are, while some other objects appear smaller. At this time, if you tell the actual size of an object to people, the reality of the object will be revealed, and at the same time, you will realize how inaccurate you perception ability is.

It is true. Some people look taller than they actually are. However, when you know their actual heights, you may be surprised by how small they are. Perceptual error that are perceived to be greater than they are actually occur in respected or feared subjects. The gallery where Bochner’s work was installed was not an insignificant place for artists. The gallery was an object of envy, a formidable barrier, and a space of power that pressure was applied. When artists saw Bochner’s work, they would had felt ‘was the white wall only that much?’

Such are the problems we face in life. When you are afraid, a problem is felt big. Then, despair and frustration, anxiety and discouragement always come upon us. In order not to sit in front of problems, one of two things must be in place. One is “reason” to grasp the reality of the problem, and the other one is “faith” to know that God is in charge of the problem. So, which of the two will give you peace? Is it the reason that makes you know the size of the problem, or is it the faith in God who makes the problem not a problem? [GNP Media]

Art Critic Sang-Yoon Lee

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