Prepare to have your mind blown. I couldn’t be any more thrilled about this. My first post of 2010 kicks off the year in epic style with the HD re-release of Robert Seidel’s 2004 masterpiece “_Grau.”
Seidel is one of my absolute favourite digital artists in the entire world. I’ve posted before, with my adoration, about his groundbreaking video for Zero 7’s “Futures”, his amazing large-scale outdoor projection “Processes: Living Paintings”, and his gorgeous video installation “Vellum.”
Posted publicly for the first time in HD, “_Grau” has only been seen before at this level of quality and detail at galleries and festivals. To me it’s a trailblazing work, that perfectly personifies Seidel’s digital/organic style clash and attention to detail that first made me fall in love with his work.
Seidel describes it himself as “… a personal reflection on memories coming up during a car accident, where past events emerge, fuse, erode and finally vanish ethereally… various real sources were distorted, filtered and fitted into a sculptural structure to create not a plain abstract, but a very private snapshot of a whole life within its last seconds…”
“Grau” roughly translates into English as “greyish – an achromatic color of any lightness between the extremes of black and white.” Here we have Seidel’s vision of the human spirit in limbo, not between extremes of the afterlife but the unknown moment between life and death. In it he structures the human soul into the most beautiful and terrifying embodiments of its own emotions: prismatic light, splintering bone, gnarled despair, silent torrents of hope, and silky liquid lightness that fades away within itself. It magnifies all of our greatest fears and yearnings and is something I’ve never forgotten. Seeing it again now, in its intended detail and nuance, is nothing less than incredible.