THE ARTIST’S SHADOW

The idea for The Artist’s Shadow was sparked while I was preparing my YouTube video on the subject of NFT. Trying to comprehend the phenomenon, it occurred to me that NFTs of physical artworks are, in a way, digital shadows of those artworks.

The Artist’s Shadow is my first conceptual work. It consists of the act of creating an NFT of my shadow and offering it for sale in the marketplace. The visual that appears alongside the NFT captures only one of the infinite appearances of my shadow and serves only as a reference. Because the NFT is of the shadow and not of the image, it is only one. There will never be another.

A person’s shadow is a series of paradoxes: a shadow is, by definition, the absence of light, yet it depends on the presence of light to exist; the shadow is inseparable from the person, yet it is not necessarily present when they are present.

The shadow is not an emanation of the body, like breath, or warmth, but it exists only if the body exists. It is simultaneously of the body and of the surface it is cast upon. This makes it an in-between phenomenon between us and the outside world. If this is so, to what extent do we own our shadows?

In as much as we can perceive it with our senses, a shadow is tangible, yet it is impossible to capture it and lock it up in a closet. Film and photography can record only a limited number of the infinite appearances of my shadow in time and space. The NFT technology, however, overcomes these limitations, making it possible to own, buy and sell a shadow.

Will somebody be tempted to own my shadow and buy it? And if they do, will that mean that they own part of me? The mere suggestion of this would be terrifying to someone in the Middle Ages, or even to some people today.

The shadow is a projection of a person’s dark side – literally, but also figuratively. Maybe because of this, and because of its elusive nature, in mythology and folklore the shadow has been often identified with the soul. And from here, the line between shadows and ghosts gets really blurred.

How personal is a person’s shadow? Can it have value? How can this value be determined? Is it safe to sell your shadow or own another person’s? Is it morally acceptable?

 

“The Artist’s Shadow” is an experiment which asks more questions than it answers.

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