The Field of Genius

On Paper II K.NormanThe Field of Genius


Artist's book and poster published on the occasion of the artists participation in the 5th Berlin Biennial 2008 on the occasion of On Paper, a special collaborative project between 5th Berlin Biennial and A Prior Magazine.

Drawings and texts by Kristina Norman

Dear Paul, I am Kristina Norman, the artist you are supposed to meet at the biennial in Berlin…. Actually, I dreamt of writing you a thousandthanks letter about five years ago when I read your wonderful book called Superforce. You opened a new world to me. The way Superforce is written and the book’s message was something I would never have expected from a book I bought by chance because of its funny name from a second-hand bookshop in a provincial Estonian town. “It’s been on the shelf for years and nobody wants it anyway ’cause it’s in Russian,” I was told. It was published in Moscow in 1984 and its name in Russian is Supersila. Thus, by a stroke of luck, this book became the single most important source of inspiration for my art practice and changed my whole way of thinking. I wonder what you think about my film The Field of Genius (which got its kick start by your mention of Albert Einstein in Superforce) and whether it could possibly inspire a topic for your lecture (or performance) at the biennial. Very much looking forward to your reply. With warmest regards, Kristina Norman.
Norman’s Field of Genius is accompanied by an artist’s book published as part of “On Paper”, a cooperation between the 5th biennal and A Prior magazine. Kristina Norman, born 1979, lives and works in Tallinn (EE). Paul Davies is theoretical physicist and cosmologist at the Arizona State University. He lives and works in Arizona (US).

‘Zuhandenheit’ [ready-to-hand]—a Heideggerian term used to explore the meaning and functionality of objects in relation toman/human beings—is activated throughout On Paper by making readable objects available to the visitors of the biennale; and by creating a tangible echo of the biennale works on paper. This ‘Zuhandenheit’ is not only grounded in the form of the project, but also in the content of the first part of On Paper: A Prior #17 (David Maljkovic, Daniel Knorr, Kristina Norman).

The second part of On Paper consists of six separate publications and limited editions conceived by Ahmet Öğüt , Kristina Norman, Manon de Boer, Susanne Kriemann, Cezary Bodzianowski and Paulina Olowska. Each of these editions forms a unique ‘object’ that, as paper, is tied to the dematerialized realm of conceptual art, but that also cannot be thought of outside its object status. As such they may be the quintessential ‘things that cast no shadow’, thus sounding a tangible echo of certain works at the biennial.