SHORT CONCEPT:At the times of extensive outer and inner conflicts around the globe, the search for spirituality and meaning of... Read More
At the times of extensive outer and inner conflicts around the globe, the search for spirituality and meaning of life, faith in religion is especially relevant. Two different sides of the face in these paintings are depicting completely different human states of mind and invite to explore life and death, light and dark, stress and calm, loud and quit. The cycle of artworks with unified title, The Easy Choice, explore the belief that a being embodies both body and soul, and that an understanding of something comes from learning it’s opposite. More about this artwork cycle: https://www.lauraguoke.com/ritsona-portraits
Full text: Very likely and, undoubtedly, on a number of occasions you have read or heard about the human consciousness training (actually, all religions talk about this), the conflict between unceasing, uneasy mind and soul, and the completely opposite activity in the right and left human cerebral hemispheres. Different sides of the face, representing different human spiritual conditions are depicted in paintings and sculptures in artwork cycle “Easy Choice”. One of them is never ceasing to think (voice in the head), judge, deny, groan, backbite, degrade others and own self, i.e. a person for whom it is never enough of power, riches, recognition, etc. Another one is calm and surrendered to what is and what is given to the man by this single life. We could notice how many people suffer from their identification with mind, from their vicious thinking and its predetermined consequences as well as realize that it is possible to liberate from constant inner suffering and dissatisfaction and that this liberation is rather simple. From the today's perspective, when searching for spirituality, the meaning of life, religious reliance/ faith is particularly relevant, two sides of the face depicting two completely different human states invite to reflect on the current and slightly different problems.
He must increase; I must decrease (John 3, 30).
Artworks were inspired by this line from the Bible and also by the painting of an unknown author of 1874. John the Baptist anticipated the end of his life and the coming of Jesus Christ and therefore two different sides of the same face are depicted. One eye is anxious, opened, whereas another is calm, resigned and almost closed. It is also important to mention here that the head of John the Baptist was started to solely depict as cut off and held on a platter from the late Middle Ages. It was believed that such paintings and sculptures had a healing power. I interpret the above mentioned line from the Bible and the topic of John the Baptist in this installation in a slightly different way. I suppose that the Bible talks about an inevitable shift in the old/ usual though or the state of consciousness. The consciousness should grow, whereas the voice of reason never ceasing talking, conflict-ridden and creating for us so many unnecessary problems should decrease. We find many such hints in the teachings of Jesus Christ (also in Buddhism, Sufism, etc.). It is not by chance that two heads are prevailings in the paintings, with a water line, and if we draw 2 straight lines it would be like a sign of the cross.
The motive of intersection of horizontal and vertical axis are defined in the paintings. Horizontal is just the surface dimension of our life: global and personal problems, anger, controversies, the everlasting cycle of doing and striving for something else. Vertical dimension comprises rather unexpected short moments or longer inner peace and reconciliation periods which we learn to sense, only having sufficiently suffered or lost something very precious in our life.
The water motive observed in all the works represents not only the religious themes. The water here acquires a universal meaning: it not only washes and cleans, marks the beginning of a new phase but it also represents the inner transformation of man. Ibn al'Arabi, a mystic of the Middle Ages described life as an unlimited journey: „The Self is an ocean without a shore“.
After almost 800 years, this is also mentioned by quantum physics. The author of science fiction books, professor Lothar Schafer mentions a motive of the ocean and the wave in his book „Infinite Potential: What Quantum Physics Reveals About How We Should Live“. “ You can't be fooled into thinking that the waves are isolated and independent appearances, because you just know that the waves in an ocean aren't independent but conjoined in one giant movement of the whole. This is a useful experience, because now, when you look out into the world and see the things and people around you, you will not be fooled into thinking they are separate and independent appearances. In this nonmaterial ocean, which seems alive and more mindlike than thinglike, the waves constantly build up to new empirical possibilities and perhaps even to new forms of thinking that may find consciousness in a human mind.” The wave is the man who is far from being a separate organism, even though he thinks he is and by thinking this way he contributes to a host of problems. The man is a part of this endless ocean, unknown to us which is constantly shifting and impermanent.
All the works from artwork cycle „Easy Choice“ invite us to choose in almost inaudible, gentle but irresistible way. My choice – not just visual – is obvious. But what about you, what would you choose?