Maria Bjurestam - art and projects

Wittgenstein’s Tractatus Logico Philosophicus as a carpet 1999-2000

Prototype 1:1, (3.90 x 5.20 metres)

The propositions in Tractatus are ordered by a numbering system drawn up by Wittgenstein: The Tractatus consists of seven propositions which all, except the 7th are followed by series of annotations. The main propositions are numbered 1, 2, 3…To them the annotations 1.1, 1.11, 1.12…, succeed, then 1.2, 1.21, 1.22 etc. In the ”Carpet” the proposition no. 7 is positioned as a ”treshold” to the work. The the propositions 1-6 follows, and their respective annotations like a bar chart, graded in shades of grey showing their connection to the main proposition. Wittgenstein’s Tractatus can be regarded as an attempt to show a complete model or a scheme over the logic world, thus solving the problems in philosophy. He would later criticise his early work, but persists in the 7th proposition, ”Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must stay silent.” The ”Tractatus as a carpet” is not an attempt to interpret or explain the work of Wittgenstein, it is rather a kind of translation where the text as arranged by Wittgenstein is transposed into an image or a map. The viewer can see the whole text in a space, move around between the groups of text and follow the lines of thought.

*Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951), Austrian/English philosopher

Wall and Carpet

Tractatus as a carpet-detail