Josef Achrer: Journey to the Silence of the Universe

29. 3. – 30. 4. 2022

I still wasn’t able to write the text for the exhibition. Sometimes I simply cannot explain complex things, and I am more uncertain than certain about how much I want to say and what new things I want to try and express. My efforts were interrupted by a dream. It was one of those nights when a lot had happened during the day and I couldn’t fall asleep. My sleep was a light infomanic one, overflowing with thoughts. But the dream did provide an answer to my question of “What is the silence of the universe?”.  The scene that played out in my dream was as if it were from a film. I was one of the actors – characters who knew each other well – who were swapping roles and scripts and didn’t want this unusual theatrical performance to end. They kept on twisting everything around, changing things, and trying to determine how it would sound and look the best, or possibly also to find out how many versions and endings their story has. Everything began to move faster, and then I found out I wasn’t asleep anymore. I woke up and realised that it was another product of my imagination, but I calmed down when I discovered that it was a clear pattern of my way of thinking, which always tries to understand everything and give it a name: situations, paintings, the entire miracle of the world and life on earth.  When I was finishing my manifesto on the infomanic society in 2015, I knew that it was my personal testimony about how our society is developing, but since then I have discovered many clear indications that I, too, am infomanic and have an unstoppable desire to see and to understand, which sometimes leads to a feeling of turmoil bordering insanity. I know I am by far not on this journey alone, but now I also now what the silence of the universe is: the place to which I organise a demanding journey every day. It is sleep, deep and silent, the type of sleep without dreams. Every day brings a deluge of new information, which I must once again record and sort and only sleep calms things down. When I eagerly got out of bed and quickly went to write everything down so that I wouldn’t forget this information, my daughter Nikola was already sitting on a chair in the kitchen.  She was looking out the window, and when she noticed me, she said: “It was so beautiful yesterday, but now look and see what’s happening outside.” … It was snowing.

Josef Achrer, Prague, 4 March 2022

Photo © David Kašpárek, 2022