Alexander Calder. Peaceful Accumulation of the Imperfect.
"Silence, I discover, is something you can actually hear."
Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore
When I entered the Tate, where I was taken to visit Alexander Calder's Performing Sculpture exhibition by someone who deeply admires all things Calderesque, it seemed to me like everyone and everything around us has slowed down, one of those moments when time freezes and the entire universe stands still. Calder's kinetic installation quietly and almost invisibly oscillating in a chaotic manner, somehow provoking a harmonious interplay of a silent protest yet an obedient awaiting, created that sense of molecular immobilization...
It made me think of my beloved Carl Jung. "In all chaos there is a cosmos, in all disorder a secret order." And of his theory of synchronicity, stating that the whole universe is interconnected. This is what Calder is about, those little at first glance irrelevant pieces joined together become a part of something big, something pure, something very high. Calder's mobiles, as Duchamp named them, bring dynamism and life to the static object, giving it a rhythm, a silent sound, for instance if his body of work was a piece of music it would have been J.S. Bach's The Well Tempered Clavier prelude in E-minor, and only in the performance of Mr. Glenn Gould himself. .
There is a lot of that Bach's control and consistency in his art, as well as Jungian cosmic chaos, and Murakami's simplicity and humbleness. Reminiscent of Japanese culture, the sakura, the rising sun, and the buddhist temples, Calder's work is a fusion of both perfect and imperfect, standing out beyond the ideas of rightdoings and wrongdoings. In his Kafka on the Shore, Murakami also says "Taking crazy things seriously is a serious waste of time", and I disagree with him on this. Perhaps Calder did suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder, but he has dedicated himself entirely to the creation of something that does indeed look childish and naive, primitive and ludicrous, at the same time universal, subconscious, gravitational and hypnotherapetic.
Alexander Calder, Performing Sculpture, Tate Modern, 11 November 2015 – 3 April 2016