Coming - Martyrium and Reliquary

Mireille Eid and Elizabeth Presa

24 June - 9 July 2017
opening Fri 23 June 6-8pm

Attempting to give sight to invisible silences, we seek to ignite the “unheimliche” as a way to awaken dormant senses. And while a wound or misfortune embodied, is not always visible, the “splendor and brightness which dry up misfortune,” are. If we understand the “splendor 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 accidently to us. When purely expressed the event “signals and awaits us” as one might imagine a pregnancy to come, the unborn, as it were. 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”.[1]

Presa’s sculptures on the other hand function as reliquaries. But whereas reliquaries traditionally contain parts of the bodies of saints, here reliquaries could contain materials as well as something of the inflections that radiate and waft from these materials under differing plays of light and shadow. 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, a metamorphosis of flesh, or transcendent experience. Such experiences may remain imperceptible or may appear in unexpected illuminations, forms and spacings.

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


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