So, what’s the narrative here? Figurative images often prematurely evoke the concept of narration. As someone supposedly engaged in activity, the person depicted becomes the fulcrum for a future that has yet to be created, as well as the result of something from the past. The viewer lends the figure an identity—something that Worringer reinforces by giving the figures facial features of his own. In Worringer’s work, the question of identity isn’t seen in the people depicted, but in the work of art itself, in its capacity as a witness to, and a reflection of, temporality. Here, Worringer’s concept of time isn’t of a narrative or linear nature, but is instead characterized by interlocking, layered entities. There are many references in his work that allude to Joseph Campbell’s theories of mythology. Campbell regards the hero’s journey as a narrative. In it the hero takes on thousands of forms, which are constantly changing and transforming. It isn’t until the end that the story is a story.
This is precisely how Worringer regards his own work. It isn’t until the work is finished that it becomes a narrative. Contrastingly, Worringer sees pictures as “moments in the now,” in which he creates coherence and puts time experienced cosmologically into a phenomenological framework of time. Worringer’s multi-part paintings can also be seen in this way, because, as different reference points to time with parallel existences, they refer to each other, while also telling a story. As in Paul Ricoer’s work, one also sees in Worringer’s art that narrative and life stories complement each other, because they contrast each other. His work picks up on the stages of the mythological protagonist described by Campbell. In this way Worringer’s oeuvre itself is a narrative—not his paintings.