In front of God
Art Project for Mdina Cathedral Contemporary Art Biennale 2017, Malta.
As an artist, I quite often do actions on intuition, convinced of their necessity, but not yet realizing their meaning. Comprehension usually comes afterwards, upon completion of work. Over the years, I’m increasingly thinking about retrocausality in life. Just as at each individual moment the following gives meaning to the previous one, it can be said that the final end reveals the meaning of the whole duration of existence. Making everything complete, the end highlights the significance of the individual life and its historical role. Death turns life into a biography, retroactively regulates it, gives it new coverage, and sometimes even a moral meaning.
The theme of retrocausality, undoubtedly, is very actual for the Christian worldview. «Iliotropion» of St. John of Tobolsk teaches to co-ordinate the human will with the Divine on the same basis. «Try to do what you must, and understanding will come at the end of the life path, when you’ll meet the Creator». Once in my childhood I drowned. I remember how, at the last moment before the loss of consciousness, my whole short life flashed before my eyes, as in a rewind video clip. Then someone pumped me out. I’ve been saved.
The exhibition project continues a series of experiments on the polyphonic union of traditional liturgical and contemporary art language. In this case, by creating a spatial image of a person walking in front of Lord. A long pice of paper, rolled on the floor of permanent Cathedral Museum exposition hall towards to St. Paul retable, on which the traces of people stream walking upon it are stamped with gold powder. These feet tracks are imperceptible at first and appear gradually merging into the golden ground at the end of the path.
Although the movement, if you look at the tracks, comes forward from a blank sheet to a gold-filled surface, the viewer after a while realizes that such a movement is impossible in reality. Technically, everything happened the other way around. Dipping his feet into a golden powder, the artist moved backwards from the end of the path to the top leaving traces of powder on the paper until his legs became clean. The viewer feels the movement of the tracks as it were in the rewind, the visual image of retrocasuality. Thus, we have two «arrows of time». The arrow of action directed to the future, and the arrow of understanding, directed to the past.
Another installation titled «St. George strikes Sai Twombly» based on the orthodox iconography «the Miracle of St. George» is lightly with a flavour of Postirony depicting relationships between Truth and False, Good and Evil, Tradition and Contemporaneity. The strait line of St. George's spear corresponded to straight gold path of previous installation.
Thus, despite all the cultural and spiritual problems that we have in Mediterranean region, I hope that in the end, if we are worthy to do every thing what we're doing, we will understand the meaning of our activity, and the fact that it involuntarily led to the resolution all problems.
Gor Chahal. Moscow, 2017.