The invention of chronophotography - which took place more than a century ago - forced a new paragon on painting and the simultaneity of painting had to come to terms with the successiveness of film.
Bettina Rave’s images solve this competition of synchrony and diachrony in a new way, elevating the moment into the duration. Bettina Rave’s formulation of questions related to media theory takes film as its starting point.
In her Cheimon works she makes collages of the sequences of a video film, depicting footage of a nightly thunderstorm on Naxos.
In each case, fourteen photographs are implemented, from the first appearance of lightning until it fades. A little over half a second in real time. The sequences often occupy the vertical axis of the image so that the climax takes place at the center.
The proportions of the photographs correspond to the dimensions of the painting. The absolute dimensions of the sequences define the absolute height of the image surfaces. The edges of the frames emphasize the finiteness of the images compared to the infinity of nature. The horizontal formats of the photographs define the width of the vertical strips, while reciprocally the vertical dimensions of the photographs determine the height of the horizontal strips.
Thus, the images are designed logically. They are offset by a narrow edge of the frame against the wall. Therefore, the quantum continuum of the landscape is set in the quantum discretum of the image.
The paint colors intensify the electrical lightning colors into deep blue-black and blue-violet. A vibrating color space is built up from many layers of translucent acrylic paints. The color painting is a concentrated form of the natural energy.
Lightning is light par excellence. It is a prerequisite for sight in nocturnal darkness. Sight, in turn, is the real subject of the painting.
In a literal sense, Bettina Rave’s painting immortalizes the "Augen"-"Blick" [wordplay in German for "eye(’)s"-"view" and the word "Augenblick" (of the moment)]. Lightning is the cosmos’ energetic culmination. It is most likely for this reason that archetypal thinking attributes it to Zeus, the father of the gods. Thus, the myth amalgamates the reflexive and the expressive aspects of the problem.
Finally, Bettina Rave’s painting contains a romantic moment. Amidst the finite, she wants to let our spirits become one with the infinite. Paradoxically, she illustrates the insufficiency of the form when confronted with space as a set of problems related to the sublime - as the ability of visualization to go beyond a concept.