18.6.17

Martyrium and Reliquary opens Friday 23 June 6-8pm

Mireille Eid and Elizabeth Presa

24 June - 9 July 2017

opening Friday 23 June 6-8pm

Martyrium and Reliquary will be opened by Professor Peter Hutchings, Dean of the School of Humanities and Communication Arts at Western Sydney University

Attempting to give sight to invisible silences, we seek to ignite the “unheimliche” as a way to awaken dormant senses. "While a wound or misfortune embodied is not always visible, the opposite is true for the “splendour and brightness which dry up misfortune.” If we understand the “splendour and magnificence” of the event as the luminous yet mysterious moment of “the immaculate conception,” as Deleuze writes in The Logic of Sense, then we see that life is not something that happens accidentally to us. When purely expressed, the event “signals and awaits us” as one might imagine a pregnancy to come, the unborn, as it were." (1) We trust that at the precise moment the visual encounter takes place, senses would surge whilst engaging the decision-making process in an oscillating movement between latent passion and calm-inducing meditation. Nevertheless, spectral representations unsettle these senses as any wound would, while inviting the viewer to seek the quintessential equilibrium between hope and the real, between memory and emotion. 


Mirielle Eid Mar Elias 101cm x 76cm Inkjet print 2017

Each of Eid’s images reminds one of what Merleau-Ponty calls“le mouvant”: the moving object that contains an implicit identity charged with psychic states that had become sanctified. Just as the logic of the perceived circle is the entity that possesses, in advance and in itself, all of the properties that analysis will discover there, the movable object is the object of an indefinite series of explicit and concordant perceptions and beliefs. Stills caught in mid-sentence, prayers yet to be uttered, yet to be discovered, mouth gaping, quiver with beatitude the hidden figures, the veiled reflections, and even dilations of one’s own life. “The hallucinatory thing is not the real thing, a deep being that contracts a thickness of duration in itself … the hallucination slides across time, just as it slides across the world”.(2)


Presa’s sculptures on the other hand function as reliquaries. But whereas reliquaries traditionally contain parts of the bodies of saints, here these small reliquaries, - made by folding , twisting and threading brass mesh - contain something of the inflections, shadows and luminations radiating from their material under differing plays of light. Resembling small Baroque experiments or excitations, they make evident the fact that the physical world, in its most mundane sense, holds within it potentiality for remarkable transformation, whereby the most common of materials can take on the character of an angels wing, metamorphosis of flesh, or transcendent experience. Such experiences may remain imperceptible or may appear in unexpected illuminations, forms and spacings.





1. E.Presa, text for exhibition, entitled "Life Must First Imitate Matter", 2015 
https://www.researchcatalogue.net/view/237176/237177 Orpheus Institute, Ghent, Belgium.

2. Merleau-Ponty, M., & Landes, D. A. (2014). Phenomenology of perception. Abingdon, Oxon Routledge, 2014: 355.

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