Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 26 Page 27 Page 28 Page 29 Page 30 Page 31 Page 32 Page 33 Page 34 Page 35 Page 36 Page 37 Page 38 Page 39 Page 40 Page 41 Page 42 Page 43 Page 44 Page 45 Page 46 Page 47 Page 48 Page 49 Page 50 Page 51 Page 52 Page 53 Page 54 Page 55 Page 56 Page 57 Page 58 Page 59 Page 60 Page 61 Page 62 Page 63 Page 64 Page 65 Page 66 Page 67 Page 68 Page 69 Page 70 Page 71 Page 72 Page 73 Page 74 Page 75 Page 76 Page 77 Page 78 Page 79 Page 80 Page 81 Page 82 Page 83 Page 84 Page 85 Page 86 Page 87 Page 88 Page 89 Page 90 Page 91 Page 92 Page 93 Page 94 Page 95 Page 96 Page 97 Page 98 Page 99 Page 100 Page 101 Page 102 Page 103 Page 10434 humankind” is most important, and how its protagonists respond to burning questions. This “order” is above all one of a spiritual nature, whereby the artist is that “almighty one” supposedly capable of re- establishing it. It is these two opposing tendencies, chaos and order,6 that confront each other irreconcilably throughout Raab’s ouevre and primarily in the most important group of works, Parleau. All attempts to cut through these Gordian knots are, however, destined to fail, since it is apparently not possible to come to a clearer understanding of reality. In his image reliefs, it is thus predominantly the “atmospheric” that can be distinguished as the only constant—in the continually shifting “colour of light”—thus clearly reinforcing the reference to the infinite amalgam of chaotic occurrences in the world. Expressing this is the greatest strength of the Parleau group of works. Giving Chaos back to theWorld—The Space of Simon Raab “A robin redbreast in a cage Puts all heaven in a rage.” William Blake, Auguries of Innocence The Poem With his new series From behind these Bars, composed of two elements—verse and paintings—, Simon Raab not only seriously endeavours to give chaos back to the world“out there”but also to create an order for himself—in his own small or large prison—that enables him, even if “caged”, to catch his breath: “It is from behind these bars / That I rest, enclosed, once peaceful, once fearful.”7 In his poem, Blake’s robin redbreast is the ordering self that surrenders itself to the universe: “It is from behind these bars / That I have seen the brightest sun rise anew.”8 The poem posits the view from the inside to the outside, seeming to comprise of a protective shell that reserves the largest space possible for the sensitivities of the self. In addition to describing various life situations (or memories thereof) it lays bare the limitations entailed by the consciousness of being confined in such a way. It is, moreover, an almost silent lament to a beloved being up to the moment of death (“… That you came and granted tender visitation”) upon whom it is incumbent to release him from this “prison” . She is also the one who shows the artist the limitations: “That I learnt of what I can and cannot do.”9 The emphasis in Raab’s text that accompanies (and also clarifies) his paintings is related to the position of the narrator10 who, in a few poetic statements, describes his “condition in the world”: replete with con- tradictions and limitations it is anything but comfortable—which might correspond to the artist’s experi- ence and age of the artist. The talk is of “promise of freedom,” and of one view and of one hand that stretches over the artist. Blake himself was also familiar with this feeling about life:“How can the bird that is born for joy / Sit in a cage and sing.”11