IN SEARCH OF THE MEANINGLESS - PART 1
IN SEARCH OF THE MEANINGLESS - PART 2
In 1973 the Dutch artist Bas Jan Ader took a night time walk through Los Angeles from the Hollywood Hills to the Pacific Ocean. He documented this with eighteen black and white photographs and entitled the work “In Search of the Miraculous”. In 1974 Ader decided to make this a three-part series which would involve part 2 being a solo yacht voyage across the Atlantic. His final work was to be a walk-through Amsterdam at night, to mirror the walk in Los Angeles. On July 9, 1975, Ader set sail from Chatham, Massachusetts USA on a thirteen-foot sailboat. He was bound for Falmouth, England. However, he was never seen again and his damaged boat was found south of the western tip of Ireland a year later. An artist that created a small body of work has become an Enigma in the Art world and has influenced and continues to influence many artists today.
Biography in myth-making and the role of absence in the construction of art history is explored, in relation to the life, practise and Myths of Bas Jan Ader.
Within Chapter 1 Hogg lays the main thread for the rest of the presentation with his performance of the Myth of Sisyphus by Albert Camus. Hogg explores the links to Ader Sisyphean practise and Camus philosophy throughout the presentation.
The book “The Strange last Voyage of Donald Crowhurst”was discovered in Ader university locker after his death. Within Chapter 2 Hogg explores this link to Crowhurst and the theme of falling and failing within Ader practise to ascertain if Ader tragically committed suicide like Crowhurst or found the sublime he was searching for like the sailor Bernard Moittessier.
In Chapter 3 Hogg explores the theme of disappearance within Ader practise and other California based artists such as Chris Burden. Another key thread that Hogg picks up on here is the impact of Bas Jan Ader father on his art and disappearance. Hogg explores the theory that Ader may have faked his own death to escape his domesticated life and reinvent himself so that he may become the embodiment of Camus absurd man. Hogg also disappears in a performance as an outcome of his research into the fictional character Reginald Perrin.
In Chapter 4 Hogg explores and explains the influence of the Art and the Myth of Bas Jan Ader in the Global Contemporary Artworld. From the artist Tacita Dean who has written extensively about Ader and used his works within her practise, to the Influence of Ader use of absurdity and the body in celebrated United Arab Emirates artists such as Hassan Shariff. Hogg explains with examples Ader
influence on experimental and innovative Dutch artists such as Erik Wesselo and the link to the tragic death of Italian artist Pippa Bacca and the number 33.
Hogg creates his own Sisyphean performance and concludes with the words of Tacita Dean that “Ader like Icarus flew too close to the sun and fell into the sea.“