scuba diving inwardsI was a few meters under the Adriatic Sea,
scuba diving with my daughter.
We drifted past schools of fish, through the surreal aquatic architecture.
Up ahead of us an area of blackness came into view.
We approached it and realized we were on a kind of cliff that looked over a deep drop.
We didn’t have sufficient training to go deeper,
but we hovered over the alluring abyss that suggested
depth, mystery and the unexpected.
That evening I sat at the edge of the sea under the stars
looking out at the dark silky water.
The smell of salt was potent, the wind gently moved my hair,
the stars blinked luminously in the black sky.
I closed my eyes and the alluring abyss of the sea materialized in my imagination.
I hovered over it in my mind, and this time, I began to descend.
A flood of ideas rushed through me,
carrying me towards something
unknown and desirable.
irregularThe space around
feels simultaneously big and small.
A dark atmospheric music starts, and seeps towards my bones.
I throw my body into it, dancing irregularly for awhile.
Then something behind me pulls me backwards.
I hesitate, suspended,
then dance quickly towards it, into its unknown.
Shadows flicker around me and through me,
suggesting dense mysteries.
ORDER IN DEEP SPACE
constellations of Joan Fontcuberta
Sitting down on a bench
in front of a series of photographs of constellations
at the Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris,
everything inside of me slowed down and the sounds from the room receded.
Contemplating the suspended blackness with bright points of luminosity organized my thoughts.
Its vastness and mystery offered me a feeling of infinite possibilities for order.
The nocturnal realm in front of me knew violence, rupture, radical temperatures…
yet there it was exuding silence, beauty and understanding.
A text next to the photographs talked about the extreme elegance and poetry of deep space,
about the idea that stars guide us when we are lost, helping us find our way in actual space
and in the spaces of our minds, opening up avenues to knowledge, it said,
offering us perspective on both ourselves and the universe around us.
I surrendered to their unknown.
A STRANGE UNKNOWN POWERBill Viola The Veiling
Grand Palais, Paris 2014
Translucent screens create layers through the center of the room.
From one side images of a woman are projected through these layers,
from the other, images of a man.
Both figures appear in the night moving through darkness and light.
They meet intermittently in different places of the layers of the veils.
I walk slowly around the dark room,
looking at the images from different perspectives.
The mystery the work evokes in time and space draws me.
Emanating out of the darkness is the suggestion of
a strange unknown power that we as spectators will never know,
that Viola himself perhaps doesn’t actually know,
yet that reaches deep inside of hidden spaces within us
offering us an experience of their depths.