All photos by Karol Nienartowicz © Source:

Karol Nienartowicz‘s photos of a breakwater in the Baltic Sea in Gdańsklike Auggie Wren’s photos of the same corner in Brooklyn, Cézanne’s Mont Saeinte-Victoire, are a reminder of how the act of repetition is essential to the human condition.

From a daily routine to a motif in art, repetition is an act of survival, a desire for affirmation. Progress, trends, development, culture, movement, reproduction, ritual, language, growth, expansion, learning are all imbued with it. It’s the principle behind unconscious but essential actions such as breathing, blinking and walking, as well as collective behaviours and even the most bewildering astronomical phenomena in the cosmos.

Repetition attests to the human struggle with the overwhelming realisation of the fleetingness of life in the face of the perennial continuity of ‘Life’. But it is also an appeal to ‘remain’, a prayer for eternity. Paradoxically, by allying with time, it is entangled with change: erosion of the landscapes, but also of ideas. Repeat to perfect and create. Repeat to unlearn and improve. Repeat again and again to change.

Just as in music, rhythm is everything in life. If repetition sets the pace, this might be an incentive to change by not changing at all and live with the comforting(?) mantra that all of this has happened before and will happen again.


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