• It is not the treasures that have stirred in me such an unspeakable longing;
    I care not for wealth and riches. But that blue flower I do long to see;
    it haunts me and I can think and dream of nothing else.
     
    From: Henry of Ofterdingen: A Romance.
    Novalis (Friedrich von Hardenberg) 1772 – 1801 
  • AUDIO: THE BLUE FLOWER
  • Himmelsblume – Skyflower – Duranta erecta 
  • Ochsenzunge – Oxtongue – Anchusa 
  • Vergissmeinnicht – Forget-me-not – Myosotis 
  • Sonnenwende – Turnsole – Heliotropium 
  • now
    I am lying in a circle of stones at the vale’s very end;
    a coiled sleeping animal
     
    sounds of a restless roach, a nervous shiver
    thoughts surface, disquieting and exhilarating
    the debris is not sinking into the earth
    but slowly rising towards a stone-filled sky
     
    an eternity passes
    this night her leathery skin still glistens with life
    she is buried within herself
     
    how many people died to make us possible?
    (more than you can forget)
    how did they kill time before it was invented? 
     
     
    one day we would stand together
    our eyes travelling over wide velds
    far past where the village was
    towards the invisible, where it will be again
    a village...two villages...
    the old path through the marsh
     
    a million canyons’ worth of earth have been removed
    down here the sea ground is scattered with the tools of ancient hunters
    who raised our parents and the parents of our children
    soon we will be like them
    bones lime stone cement
     
     
    if I were mud, I would rise as a monster
     
    you are not of this world, but of a world to come
    the flower is blue, your eyes are blue. blue is the flower
     
    we crawl into the sewer pipe
    life will never be the same 
  • Jungfer im Grünen – Love in the Mist – Nigella damascena
  • Strandflieder – Sea Lavender – Limonium 
  • Jakobsleiter – Jacob’s ladder – Polemonium 
  • Immergrün - Creeping myrtle - Vinca
  • Wegwarte – Blue sailors – Cichorium intybus 
  • Eisenhut – Wolf’s bane – Aconitum
  • Notes on The Blue Flower 
     
    I.
    While refining the ideas of the Gezeitentümpel - Tidal Pools project, Philipp Aldrup was attracted to an area which reminded him of an extract from an influential unfinished Romantic novel in which a blue flower represents a beautiful but unobtainable world.
     
    II.
    ‘Still life’ is something like a theme in these works. The subject matter here is the ground; dirt. Nothing in the frame seems to have ever moved. But Aldrup presents this lack of motion as one moment in the complex chronological loop that we call ‘life’. Like Tidal Pools, The Blue Flower is the sharing of an absurd challenge: how can the brief action of pressing a shutter capture eternity?
     
    III.
    The images are precise yet chaotic; detailed recordings of the interactions between chemistry/physics and the wildness of plants, animals, wind and weather. 
     
    IV.
    The sights and smells of a blue flower tell us little about how or why “it happened.” The short-lived glory of blue petals masks the dull and brutal timeless cycles we call survival. Instant. Moment. Eternity. Blue flower, blur flower.
     
    V.
    The best way to define The Blue Flower may be to use sound. The Blue Flower sounds like the pounding of two wooden sticks slowly cross-dissolving into the sound of Voyager moving beyond our solar system. Aldrup’s images sound like Bach becoming car horns becoming the sound of melting glaciers. The ticking of a watch as loud as a jungle beneath a thunderstorm. Children’s laughter, factory sounds, birdsongs and funeral marches. These audio waves and more, all traveling in all directions at once; both an overwhelming, frightening cacophony and a seductive whisper: the sound of The Blue Flower. 
     
     
     
    Exhibition at Artistry Gallery, Singapore from 15 November - 8 December 2013. 
     
  • THE BLUE FLOWER A film by YEO SIEW HUA
     
    Recording and sound editing by VICTOR LOW