war and peace | 2013 / 2014

 

this work formed part of my solo exhibition at gallery aop in 2013, hats off! but was only completed in 2014. It is made up of the words ‘war’, ‘and’, and ‘peace’ contained in volume I and II of Leo Tolstoy’s epic, War and Peace. 

 

Absolute continuity of motion is not comprehensible to the human mind. Laws of motion of any kind become comprehensible to man only when he examines arbitrarily selected elements of that motion; but at the same time, a large proportion of human error comes from the arbitrary division of continuous motion into discontinuous elements. There is a well known, so-called sophism of the ancients consisting in this, that Achilles could never catch up with a tortoise he was following, in spite of the fact that he traveled ten times as fast as the tortoise. By the time Achilles has covered the distance that separated him from the tortoise, the tortoise has covered one tenth of that distance ahead of him: when Achilles has covered that tenth, the tortoise has covered another one hundredth, and so on forever. This problem seemed to the ancients insoluble. The absurd answer (that Achilles could never overtake the tortoise) resulted from this: that motion was arbitrarily divided into discontinuous elements, whereas the motion both of Achilles and of the tortoise was continuous.

By adopting smaller and smaller elements of motion we only approach a solution of the problem, but never reach it. Only when we have admitted the conception of the infinitely small, and the resulting geometrical progression with a common ratio of one tenth, and have found the sum of this progression to infinity, do we reach a solution of the problem.

 

Tolstoy, L. (1957 [Voyna i mir first published 1868/9] War and Peace (Edmonds, R. Translator), Great Britain, Penguin Classics.

war and peace | in progress

 

war and peace (in progress) | 2013 | found text and pins

photograph by Thys Dullaart

 

war, peace | 2013/14

photograph by Thys Dullaart

 

war and peace