Bread and Wine and the Lord God Who Is
(A photographic realization of the principle of reverse perspective)
In my art projects of the past ten years I have in one way or another attempted to visualize the architecture of the space of the Intelligible World (the bridge between physical and transphysical reality). As a whole, this space has an infinite-dimensional arborescent structure (the world tree). Its leaves and branches emerge in the physical world, while its roots stretch into the transcendental world. And yet for each person (each leaf of the world tree) this space seems one-dimensional: its only dimension is the degree of personal theosis, likeness to God. The more a person is like unto His image, the closer he is to the center (the transcendent roots) of the Intelligible World and the more fully he feels joy at the presence of the Spirit of Freedom. Freedom, on the contrary, is extranatural: it has no relation to physical reality, in which the notion of freedom is replaced by the degree to which society is unaware of the cause-effect relationships that determine this reality. Freedom is a specifically human dimension of being. The problem of liminality – the search for self-identification, the consummation of the creative act, the realization of freedom that in the end is the goal of all communication – is wholly situated in intelligible space insofar as (Uvarov) liminality vis-à-vis human being is a position of absolute outsidedness, and such precisely is the position of man in being insofar as only God is the absolute center determining his fullness. Distances are here measured in moral categories – in degrees of communion with the Absolute. Continuous spiritual practice, which summons up the resonant psychophysical states that bring the individual out of superficial, daily existence and into the space of being’s core, the space of the sensible world’s potentialities (prototypes or first causes), is in fact the purifying, enlightening and perfecting movement of the individual in the space of the intelligible.
The use of the term architecture here is occasioned by the fact that the space of the intelligible is extranatural. It is created here and now by the spiritual practice of each particular person, on the whole exercising a universal influence on the actual world, as theology has always attested and as is shown by philosophical interpretation of the discoveries made by theoretical physics over the past century. (From the annotation to the project Steps, 2005.)
In this new project, I continue this theme by visualizing iconographic space by means of ordinary photography. In my view, as a non-handmade technique, photography enables one to achieve the cogency, reality, and apparentness of the intelligible world’s existence. This is a technological metaphor: the Lord’s all-seeingness. (The Lord looks at our world through an infinitely large magnifying glass.)
In order to illustrate the effect of reverse perspective, I have photographed one and the same object composition from different angles. In the photographs, we see how a change in the position of one and the same objects in space alters their dimensions and proportions according to the principle of reverse perspective.
Gor Chahal. Moscow, 2009.