‘You take an onion and peel it and peel it, right to the heart, and there’s nothing there. There must be something, you believe, there must be – you take another onion and start peeling it, you keep peeling, at last, nothing… Do you understand the sadness of this monkey? ‘
From: Dazai Osamu, ‘A Record of the Autumn Wind’
Academic freedom is a prerequisite for scientists to challenge established truths and expand the boundaries of our knowledge. The process of searching, without preconceived notions of the outcome, is one of the keys to fundamental research. In the past years, several impulses and trends such as political interference and dependent funding are putting academic freedom under renewed pressure.
‘A Monkey Peeled or Onion’ examines philosophical and scientific theories about nothingness, matter itself and elementary particles.
It is a work about the elusive nature of ‘nothing’. Not aiming to give answers, but to the contrary, to bring a playful ode to the act of searching,even when possibly nothing will be found. As an encouragement to everyone, to keep wondering.
All images ©Marjolein Blom