I had given a talk about my work during my stay at the Djerrasi Resident Artists Program and was attempting to describe my attachment to images of the surface of the sea and the horizon. I heard myself use the word “longing”. In researching “infinite longing” I came across Didier Maleuvre and his book “the Horizon: a history of our infinite longing”
He writes that the Western tradition derives its glory and misery from its transcendental horizon. Western thought is linear, implying horizon and distance. Linear thinking implies going from here to there. And the “there” is unknown. The horizon is never obtainable; it lies constantly out of reach. The border is ever receding.
Maleuvre writes: “Ours is a culture in which distance, rather than presence, shapes the form of life: we, for better or worse, live in a reality in need of drawing out….”
Being ever before the horizon places us forever midway. Ever reaching. And ever in a state of longing; seeking boundaries that continually shift.
Close up images of sea surface without a horizon line also imply ambiguity/an unboundaried body. What lies below that surface is not yet completely known and the nature of the swells is that they are constantly shifting.
Linda Simmel, 2014
Linda Simmel (born in Los Angeles) is a Bay Area artist. Her art practice includes painting, drawing and printmaking . For the past several years she has been rendering images of the surface of the sea and the horizon working with the ideas of the influence of history on a psyche and subsequent feelings of longing. Linda has a BFA from the University of California at Berkeley. She was represented by Takada Gallery. In 2012 she was an artist resident at the Baer Art Center in Iceland, in 2013 an artist at the Djerassi Resident Artists Program in Woodside, California. And she has been an artist in residence at the Kala Art Institute in Berkeley, California since 2007. Linda currently lives and works in Sonoma, California.