Brian concludes “Trip is inside” – while the point of universal cohesion is found. Peace emerges from within silence and merging with reality occurs, the eyes open, the image isn’t being constructed anymore through the inner eye by way of abstract forms. An image of primordial nature is now sufficient – an image in which a wooden bridge is the only human-constructed intervention in space – a bridge towards the primordial environment or condition. Life then carries on, the outer becomes the inner, and the inner follows the outer through various layers and manifestations.
With this exhibition, Meštrović deepens the search for places where we can encounter all that is, he continues it inside a three-dimensional gallery space, and again uses an audio-recording from Brian’s trip as his starting point. However, on this occasion he uses a piece that wasn’t in the film, a short text about the presence of a book in this personal quest for the Path. He then deconstructs the recording in its content and form, in order to construct a new work on the film – audio – object – video relation.
The video made for the exhibition 8 is an animation of eight objects carried out in chalk (a material he also utilises in the film) – eight objects draw trigrams, conceptual symbols of the archetypical language in which the fundamental scripture of Chinese philosophical tradition – I Ching was written. The basis of the trigram is a binary system of a full ( – ) and empty (- -) line, whose possible meanings are manifold and represent inseparably connected opposites – the positive and the negative, the male and the female, light and darkness, and somewhat later on, the Taoist Yin and Yang. In three-layered combinations, the lines create trigrams, carriers of various attributes and important qualities of change, for each following trigram comes into existence by the cyclical modification of lines into their opposite.
It may be said that eight objects – trigrams, positioned in a circular form, represent the primordial, primary source of all existence, while the dynamics of interrelations in which symbols are carriers of multiple meanings, describes a state in which the quest and its destination form one unitary cosmology. Meštrović places these road signs as objects in space, thus liberating the energy carried by the world of ideas which has been infused into the communication system of ancient symbols. In his video, the artist uses the binary system of lines as language codes, which he then, by way of animation, turns into an infinite and unpredictable sequence. Once the sentences, which were created through series of combined line, trigram and hexagram meanings, fulfil their mathematical possibilities, the dialogue starts anew, never the same, for the observer changes the observed, and the observed changes the observer. The subject and the object spin a yarn in all directions through the fabric of layered time and space.
The sound which is part of the installation, is also derived from the road-trip audio-recording. Eight ambient sounds capture multiple conditions and manifestations. The trigram vocabulary has been translated into everyday sounds and also found in them. The Path within, leans on and abstracts all from without – the images, sounds, thoughts and experiences that are part of the Path, from whichever direction we find ourselves observing it. The ontological connectedness of nature and man, thought and action, spirit and matter, is the story behind this ambient-work told through ancient symbols that come from a time when cultures were neither Eastern nor Western, but merely human, in their eternal desire to explain the world and man’s true Path within it. The quest continues, the vocabulary is created, and life lives in harmony with one of the many possible paths.
Text by: Tanja Masnec Šoškić
Translated by: Dina Pokrajac
The I Ching (Book of Changes) originates in the mythical prehistorical age, while in the historical age it has served as the starting point for the teachings of numerous Chinese thinkers, from Laozi and Confucius, the Taoist School of Yinyang, up to contemporary thinkers and interpreters from the East and West. I Ching is an interactive work, and the way in which the reader can communicate with the book has been best demonstrated by C. G. Jung in his foreword for the renowned edition which was edited and translated by Richard Wilhelm.