Ivana Franke. Retreat into Darkness. Towards a Phenomenology of the Unknown.
Edited by Heike Catherina Mertens, Katia Naie.
Published by Ernst Schering Foundation and Spector Books. 2018.
Human perception and the exploration of the unknown have been the subject of artistic investigation for centuries. The artist Ivana Franke combines these two aspects in her project Retreat into Darkness: Towards a Phenomenology of the Unknown. She examines our perceptual processes when we confront something phenomenologically unknown. This book presents all the elements of a “retreat into darkness”: Franke’s installation at the Ernst Schering Foundation—in which the reflections of light in a completely dark space afford new visual experiences—the experiments of cognitive psychologist Bilge Sayim, and the observations of internationally renowned scientists and humanists like Elena Agudio, Jimena Canales, Pierre Gallais, Sylvia C. Pont, and Anil K. Seth., all of whom share an awareness that darkness opens our view to the poetry of the unknown.