Cathemeral- Applied to an activity pattern in which an animal is neither pre-scriptively nocturnal, nor diurnal, nor crepuscular, but irregularly active at any time of night or day, according to prevailing circumstances.

Talking about anything, we want to make categories, neatly ushering some stuff into one and some stuff into another. We frown at the remainders, making words to make categories to make sure nothing’s left over.

“Cathemeral” seems like the kind of word drummed up to keep borders clean.

When a word is made a definition needs to be made to go along with it, because words are only arbitrary sounds. We need to perform a kind of magic trick and link reality to the arbitrary, smashing it all together to make meaning.

Magic spells usually rhyme, so how about this…? Cathemeral! Ephemeral!

There’s reason to this rhyme, a shared Greek root: “hemera” meaning “day.” In “cathemeral” day is referred to as a one part in an alternating pattern of activity. In “ephemeral” day is referred to communicate brevity, as in “just” a day.

In this joint exhibition between Dutch artist Elejan Van der Velde, Ferdinand Bauman Gallery’s first artist-in-residence from Dutch organization Motel Spatie, and Czech artist Petr Pufler, the link between the ephemeral and cathemeral is set into motion. The exhibition lasts “just” a day, creating an atmosphere of the in-between through its drips, its blinks, and its alternation between darkness (as in the nocturnal) and light (as in the diurnal). Each contributing installations in a different medium, Elejan working with asphalt and heat and Petr light and metal, the two artists collaborate not only by exhibiting together but also by creating conditions of possibility for one another through their respective works. This serves to edge the exhibition as a whole further into liminal territory, with works formed through function and functioning through form.

Text: Ewelina Chiu