Stig Sæterbakken


In another essay, Sæterbakken writes, “We are never fully and completely ourselves because our lacks, our weaknesses, and our fears make up an essential dimension within us.”[2] As evidenced in Andreas Feldt, Sæterbakken believes that our wounds are essential to who we are, as individuals and as a collective, and should not be avoided, or even healed; in fact, they are often meant to stay open so we can remain sensitive to our surroundings. “Melancholia satisfies us by preventing us from reaching satisfaction,” he writes, “it calms us by keeping our anxiety alive, it gives us peace by prolonging the state of emergency that answers to the name Humankind.” For Sæterbakken, even art cannot offer salvation or fulfillment. On the contrary, it reminds us “of the nothingness we know awaits us,” but in this reminder of absolute denial of life we find confirmation of our existence. If we cannot experience the silence of death, which is without music, literature, or sensation, in life, then we must seek out and experience art which draws attention to the paradox of existing as a being incapable of becoming fully aware of itself and its potential. This is the art Sæterbakken offers us.

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