“Man is a rope, tied between beast and overman - a rope over an abyss. A dangerous across, a dangerous on-the-way, a dangerous looking-back, a dangerous shuddering and stopping.
What is great in man is that he is a bridge and not an end: what can be loved in man is that he is an overture and a going under.
I love those who do not know how to live, except by going under, for they are those who cross over.
I love the great despisers because they are the great reverers and arrows of longing for the other shore.
I love those who do not first seek behind the stars for a reason to go under and be a sacrifice, but who sacrifice themselves for the earth, that the earth may some day become the overman’s.
I love him who lives to know, and who wants to know so that the overman may live some day. And thus he wants to go under.
I love him who works and invents to build a house for the overman and to prepare earth, animal, and plant for him: for thus he wants to go under.
I love him who loves his virtue, for virtue is the will to go under and an arrow of longing.
I love him who does not hold back one drop of spirit for himself, but wants to be entirely the spirit of his virtue: thus he strides over the bridge as spirit.
I love him who makes his virtue his addiction and his catastrophe: for his virtue’s sake he wants to live on and to live no longer.
I love him who does not want to have too many virtues. One virtue is more virtue than two, because it is more of a noose on which his catastrophe may hang.
I love him whose soul squanders itself, who wants no thanks and returns none: for he always gives away and does not want to preserve himself.
I love him who is abashed when the dice fall to make his fortune, and asks, ‘Am I then a crooked gambler?’ For he wants to perish.
I love him who casts golden words before his deeds and always does even more than he promises: for he wants to go under.
I love him who justifies future and redeems past generations: for he wants to perish of the present.
I love him who chastens his god because he loves his god: for he must perish of the wrath of his god.
I love him whose soul is deep, even in being wounded, and who can perish of a small experience: thus he goes gladly over the bridge.
I love him whose soul is overfull so that he forgets himself, and all things are in him: thus all things spell his going under.
I love him who has a free spirit and a free heart: thus his head is only the entrails of his heart, but his heart drives him to go under.
I love all those who are as heavy drops, falling one by one out of the dark cloud that hangs over men: they herald the advent of lightning, and, as heralds, they perish.
Behold, I am a herald of the lightning and a heavy drop from the cloud; but this lightning is called overman.”
Friedrich Nietzsche, ‘Thus Spoke Zarathustra: A Book for All and None’, 1883 - 1885
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Samuel Bassett is a British artist born Cornwall in 1982. He currently works from the prestigious Porthmeor Studio complex in St. Ives
Bassett’s language of mark-making varies from raw sweeping gestures to draughtsman-like drawn or sgraffitto schematics. His dexterity enables him to effortlessly capture scattered images of his inner monologue - often erratic, often pinpoint. The ups and downs. The highs and lows. His paintings could be described as a form of ‘psychological cubism’, where the inner and the outer self reveal themselves and coalesce. His autobiographical work maps a fast paced and over-active mind searching for the personal and universal meaning and in turn reflect both positive and negative concerns about 21st century society and the wider human condition.
His most recent works imbue a deep rooted connection to place, the sea and landscape, as well as community and heritage. The localised placement of these cautionary tales become allegorical for broader more universal hopes and wider loss, fear and disconnection.
St Ives has been his family’s home since 1695. The artistic traditions of the town had an undoubted influence over his development, but his Grandfather, a fisherman by trade was also a keen amateur painter, as was his other Grandfather in Newlyn. The young Bassett was supported early on with encouragement and painting materials. Bassett ’s studio space is part of a complex that coincidently sits above his Grandfather’s former net loft. He studied in Bournemouth, England and then lived in London but the pull of the sea brought him home. In addition to his own practice Bassett founded LETH projects, a curatorial platform for emergent artists. Bassett has exhibited internationally including four solo exhibitions at Anima Mundi, a solo exhibition at Kornfeld Gallery in Berlin and solo presentations at START at the Saatchi Gallery in London and CODE Art Fair, Copenhagen. Works are held in an increasing number of collections worldwide including the acquisition of the work ‘Lost Karensa’ by Tremenheere Sculpture Park which is permanently exhibited alongside James Turrell, Kishio Suga, Richard Long and David Nash among others. Bassett has been featured in numerous articles included Christies magazine and The New York post which is indicative of a notable and rapid increase in the artists popularity and ambition. Samuel Bassett is represented by Anima Mundi.