Ragna Arndt-Marić worked as a physician before she started studying photography. For her personally, it is human being itself which has priority in both fields. Therefore, individuals and their interpersonal relationships in context with social issues are focus of her work.
2016/17 Ragna Arndt-Marić enrolled in a bachelor’s degree in photography at University of Applied Sciences Europe in Hamburg. Since then she has been able to show her work at various exhibitions such as Triennial of Photography Hamburg and European Month of Photography (EMOP) Berlin in 2018. 2019 she was selected for an artist residency directed by Magnum photographer Antoine d´Agata in Arles, France. 2019 she was also shortlisted by the Felix-Schoeller-Photo-Award in the category „Best work by an emerging photographer“.
Ragna Arndt-Marić completed her studies with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 2020. For her thesis “fall, rising” she received the Alma-del-Banco Prize and was among the three winners of the Blurring the Lines Contest 2020.
Since 2020/21 she has enrolled in a Master’s degree in photography at the Fachhochschule Bielefeld, Germany.
“Fall, Rising” // Artist Statement // Ragna Arndt-Marić
„Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.“
In Samuel Beckett´s call for renewed, better failure evokes something soothing, and encouraging. Is the concept of failure generally connoted negatively or can it still be understood as a constant human attempt to develop the individual?
In contrast to animals, the human being falls 2000 times on an average before it takes its first step. The French philosopher Henri Bergson considers us as the only living beings to always act in the hope of success and fear of failure. And just as this repeated falling enables the development of running, people struggle lifelong with questions about the meaning of life. According to Immanuel Kant human reason enables people to ask questions but is at the same time too limited to conceive possible answers to these. Symbolically Sisyphus embodies this failure from greek mythology. In his tireless attempt rolling a heavy rock up the hill again and again, which every time getting to the top slips away again, is reflected the absurdity of life. The absurd, as Albert Camus writes in „The Myth of Sisyphus“, only arises from this juxtaposition of the questioning person and a unreasonable muted world.
In my thesis entitled „Failure as a Principle of Being Human – The Motif of failure: an analytical discourse based on the works of Samuel Beckett and selected performances by Marina Abramović“ I dealt with the failure as a Conditio Humana and its importance in the artistic process. I am equally fascinated by the uncompromising nature of the two artists, who not only deal with the topic of failure in their works, but also incorporate it into their work, as well as their courage and vulnerability.
The starting point for this work was my own fear of failure. Man is born alone and dies by himself. In the meantime he comes in contact with his fellow human beings. Just like any relationship is at risk of failure, so are humanistic values like freedom and charity, too.
„Fall, rising“ is concerned with the circle of life. In Beckett´s call for a renewed attempt to fail better, I recognize Camus´ reference of the questioning man in a world that cannot be explained to him. The three consequences that Camus derives from the absurd, his revolt, freedom and passion, may be found in the acceptance of failing. According to Camus, Sisyphus should be imagined as a happy person.
To view more of Ragna Arndt-Maric’s work please visit their website.