“Petites Perceptions” (“Small Perceptions”) or: Reference to Everyday Situations
In 2001/2003, Klie was intensively busy with Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz and Friedrich Nietzsche, a fact which was already reflected in the work group “Petites Perceptions” (“Small Perceptions”).
Klie adopted this concept from Leibniz’ “monadology”. Leibniz confronted the becoming conscious (apperception) as the clearly and self-confidently perceived with the observation (perception) as a vague and hazy preliminary stage of thinking. Moreover, he still distinguished a “small perception” which is imperceptible and remains below the brink of consciousness. Leibniz wrote: ”On them (the “small perceptions”) are based our undetermined impressions, our taste, our perceived images of sensitive qualities which are all clear in their entirety, but intricate in their singular parts; on them are based the impressions going ad infinitum, Impressions which the substances, surrounding us, exert on us, and thus, the link of each being with the rest of the universe. Sure, you may say that with the help of these small perceptions, the presence is pregnant with the future and filled up with the past, that everything goes well together and that eyes so piercing like God’s could read the whole series of the space movements in the least fragment.”
Focusing on sleep and dream, Leibniz infiltrated philosophy with the subject of the unconscious. What fascinates Klie in Leibniz’ conceptual world, he defined in the introduction of his book of photographs “Petites Perception”. The “Petites Perceptions” do not represent a consciously experienced work of thoughts, but developed uncontrollably. “We feel their effects, but their contents are not accessible nor the structure of their effects, either. You might term them as poetic impulses.” In this book, Klie’s starting-point of an examination of perception and consciousness was a rather unorganized sixweek-journey across France and Spain; he arranged 96 photographs into six chapters and appointed philosophical concepts to these parts. Here, a change took place with important consequences for his work. There was no more emphasis on the organized conceptual approach already during the exposure. “What happens”, he asked, “when we do not approach things and plan these encounters in advance, but they move towards us, so we encounter them?” Klie recognized the limit of conceptualism which becomes absolute itself. The insight: “... the constantly and dynamically changing semantic fields of language, words and pictures are only restricted in their ability of analyzing and structuring … and systematical attempts reach their limits …”, enlarged the range of his artistic strategies and offered more place to the everyday experiences with their poetic impulses” (Petites Perceptions).
Parallel to the work with the group “projectSTRAND.org”, this led to a more liberal handling of his philosophical sources on the one hand and on the other hand, to some frankness and to the insertion of phenomena of the urban everyday life. The work group “Philosophie der Straße I – III“ (“Philosophy of the Street I – III”, 2004) was based on the work group “Petites Perceptions”. According to Nietzsche, diction conceals that man only seemingly perceives the essence of the world with his speech, but in reality, invents a second world beside the first. Klie transferred this perception on the world of pictures. For Klie, Nietzsche’s early essay “The Wanderer and his Shadow” becomes a metaphor for the insufficiency of words and pictures, both being shadowy. In the group’s exhibition “Artistenmetaphysik“, (“Artists’ Metaphysics”, Haus am Waldsee, Berlin 2000/2001), Klie installed 333 polished stones, 111 imprinted glass boards and a photo (“… the stone is hard…” in 2001). Together with a photo series of 20 parts “The Wanderer and his Shadow” (2000), he reflected on the part of diction, writing and conception in Nietzsche’s theory.