FOG IS A VISUAL spectacle brought about by natural and man-made forces alike, bridging the gap between dream and reality. Appearing through incense in religious rituals, from Ancient Egyptian culture to Judaism and Christianity, there are inherent healing and transformative qualities in the vision of fog, offering a cleansing space through its rejuvenating properties. A smoky haze of fog also arises from fire; in the aftermath of a blaze, the obliteration it leaves behind presents a blank canvas, a possibility for new life.
Fog is a milky veil that suggests transformation, magic and spectacle. Transcending into another mode of being is indeed an act of magic, to overcome our bodily qualities if only for an instant. Today, as much as in Ancient times, there is a need to experience a sense of salvage and so these acts continue to form part of our contemporary rituals and spectacles.
‘I love the idea of working with almost nothing — light, air, smoke. Like a cheap magic act.’
Never can there come fog too thick, never can there come mud and mire too deep, to assort with the groping and floundering condition which this High Court of Chancery, most pestilent of hoary sinners, holds this day in the sight of heaven and earth.
Charles Dickens, Bleak House, 1853.
Anna Ellinor Sundström is a photographer, filmmaker and founder of VNIVRS.