Relativity and Rhythm in Art (1993)

Art begins where reality ends. However, this does not make it unreal or irrelevant to us. Compared to the real world, the reality of art is on a parallel dimension. Although art refers to the same objects and problems that are familiar in everyday life, it places them in a different space, in a different environment. It changes their meaning and their place in our “world view of reality”. Art shows us familiar things and situations and says: It is as we see it, but it could also be different at the same time, in other relations and connections.

Art does not have to be direct and unambiguous. This is the relativity of art. But even more important than relativity in art is rhythm.

Schwitters said, “You know what art is as well as I do, it is nothing more than rhythm.” I think rhythm should be given an individual (relative) form in art. Musicians call it “timing”. As in jazz, this term can also be used in theatre, literature, film and painting, for example.

Relativity without such a rhythmic network (without “timing”) flows endlessly and mostly meaninglessly.

Rhythm alone, however, cannot give art much meaning either. The few artists who have the gift of constructing and using rhythm creatively can achieve something important and good with it.

But in order to raise such a work of art to another level, you have to know (understand) what relativity is.

Art without relativity and rhythm is not art

Jan Niksiński 1993