It’s not uncommon for an artist to reflect on human fragility and vulnerability in her work.
What I see in Bas Jan Ader is an intense fragility, a deliberate fragility.
This isn’t a heroic pose, claiming acceptance of the human condition.
This is a move beyond acceptance to embrace.
The movement in Ader’s work deliberately increases his vulnerability.
There is nothing more vulnerable than the search.
To seek is to bear witness to what we lack, and to our desire to find.
To search is to be open to failure, to loss, to getting lost, to being lost.
Seeking makes us vulnerable to not finding.
Seeking also makes us vulnerable to finding.
If our search is honest, we can’t predict what we’ll find, or lose.
Six months after he attempted to cross the Atlantic in a 12 1/2 ft. sailing boat, his boat was found off the coast of Ireland.
Bas Jan Ader went in search of the miraculous.