Silent Sublime

Exploring silence - how it can transform space from the mundane to the profound.

In cities we move within a constant unavoidable flow of noise, but in the suburbs and more rural areas, there’s a reoccurring transition from noise to silence and back.

It is very hard to live with silence.

The real silence is death and this is terrible.
To approach this silence, it is necessary to journey
to the desert.

You do not go to the desert to find identity, but to lose it,
to lose your personality, to be anonymous.

You make yourself void.
You become silence.
You become more silent than the silence around you.

And then something extraordinary happens:
you hear silence speak.

― Edmond Jabès, The Book of Margins

The philosopher Hans Georg Gadamer deemed silence the third dimension of all utterance. An image is silent by default. It gives the viewer nothing orally. In order to hear the silence, you need to open yourself up to your other senses, like smell, touch, and especially, sight. 
In Rosemarie Waldrop’s book Lavish Absence, she describes how a vision of silence is something existential: “It is the ground we write on (or in my case, the space I photograph). It is other, inhuman.” 


© 2019 Julianne Jensen