The work Dearest Friend, created by Darya von Berner, is an ode to friendship. The title is taken from the salutation of a letter written by the Amsterdam philosopher Baruch Spinoza to his intellectual friend Lodewijk Meijer. In this letter, which was written in Latin (the original is kept in the Special Collections of the University of Amsterdam) Spinoza talks about the book he is currently wrting: Renati Des Cartes principiorum philosophiae & Cogitata metaphysica. The salutation he used, reads as follows: Amice Suavissime: Dearest friend. So this is clearly a matter of friendship, but something else must be going on. Why else would this letter be floating on the water? A clue may be found in Spinoza’s biography, which is that of a Sephardic jew who, as a fugitive, settled in Amsterdam and became a renowned lens grinder and philosopher. In that capacity he proposed that reason is the highest good, a thesis which caused a lot of controversy: his books were banned for two hundred years. Dearest Friend, an enlightened letter in a literal and a figurative sense, floating on the water, is not only an ode to friendship but also an appeal for reason and wisdom.
Darya von Berner
In her work, Darya von Berner explores the relationship between people, space and technology. In the 1980s the Spanish artist painted according to the Realistic movement. Yet, she is most known for her installations in the Atmospheres series. For these installations she fabricates clouds and creates light installations specifically for monumental and emblematic architectural contexts.