Selected by Joanne Coates
University: London College of Communication
Artist Statement: In Plato’s Meno, a poetic assertion was proposed by Socrates that a Man’s soul has acquired knowledge of all things prior to birth and thus what one perceives to be learning in life is not the acquisition of unknown knowledge, but a recollection of knowledge already known. In response, he was challenged by Meno with a paradox; How does one search for something that is unknown to you when you do not know at all what it is? Conceivably, there is a mystery to this unknown entity and that this mystery can act as a compass guiding you through the seemingly unknown.
Mystery Is A Compass delves into that theory with the disappearance of 20-year-old Everett Ruess. He was last seen in November 1934 in Utah, USA. A boy utterly consumed by the wild desert landscape while on a metaphysical quest in search of the unknown, rare indeed was his ability to sense beauty so acutely that it bordered on pain. A penniless romantic, he wandered through the terra incognita of the land and proclaimed in his letters to the outside world: “I have seen almost more beauty than I can bear.”