'Because things don’t appear to be the known thing; they aren’t that what they seemed to be neither will they become what they might appear to become.'
Posted by Tessa den Uyl and Martin Cohen
Al-Azhar mosque, Cairo
Photo credit: AP via Guardian
Human beings have long been trying to explain the unknown. We have constructed grand theories, separated doctrines and invented names all in a bid to create systematic order out of the unknown. In the process, we have been so enthusiastic in our examination of the mysterious and so hopeful to tame our reality within our notions of proof, that even when our logic no longer fits, we still believe it is present. After all, building edifices upon that lack of proof, just like proving stories never happened, can be even more powerful than finding evidence for those that actually did.
In this image, perhaps the child’s innocent play shows in a single gesture the impossibility of stepping outside our essential humanity.
This girl and the balloon are so completely embedded in life itself that it is difficult not to recognise in the image this human urge to investigate. Yet, in the human search for knowledge, the tendency to build walls has never outreached that clarity this girl and the balloon hand back to us.
When does something become intelligible?
Is there some kind of archaic intuition that determines when a relation becomes timeless within a spatial dimension? Could the girl and the balloon have been pictured like this in front of a row of policemen, or a church, in the desert - or even in Cairo's busy traffic? Instead, the balloon seems to descend like another world that the girl is waiting to receive.