2014 – oil on canvas, 150×200 cm / 59×79 in
“For the wise man looks into space and he knows there is no limited dimension”. Laozi
Only the wise have the luxury of perception, as the human being is in general restricted to its limitation inherited from childhood education. No one expressed this better than Rainer Maria Rilke in his 8th Elegy: “The faces of the animals show to us what truly is Infinity: we who up-end the infant and force its sight to fix upon things and shapes, not the Freedom that they occupy, not the Openness which lies so deep within their face, free from death. We alone see death. The beast, death behind and God before, moves free through eternity, like a river running”.
“Vanity, vanity, everything is vanity” is the Choir of Lamentations, and only in an instant can we feel eternity, mostly in a moment of love, as here in my panting. “Love is of all passions the strongest, for it attacks simultaneously the head, the heart and the senses” (Laozi). A third character, reminiscent of my Cloak of Conscience, recording our evanescence, observes this special moment. If we say “Yes” to such a unique moment, we say yes to ourselves and to all that exists. It relates us to the Divine.
As Friedrich Nietzsche tells us: “Nothing is isolated, and if joy has only once resounded in our soul, all eternities were necessary to create the conditions for this unique instant where we have said ‘Yes’ ”. In the Tao, the supreme void generates the primordial breath, which in return creates the two complementary Ying and Yang, which, through their incessant interaction create the median Void, the third breath. It is a holistic vision of nature, rather than a static, atomistic one like in the West.
Our Western view of nature has led us to an unlimited exploitation of our planet, which may be exhausted long before the Sun has become a red giant to swallow the Earth, in some five billion years time. By this time, man will either have vanished or emigrated to other planets, continuing the adventure God has conceived for him. Life on Earth will appear only as an instant compared to the eternity and infinity of the Universe. If man ever were to fail, it would be a failure of God, because He is the future.
It is through death that morals and ethics have entered the world. Through the consciousness of death, we have acquired a Conscience. As its symbol, I have created my Cloak, which harbors in its apparent emptiness, our soul and our love. It is the symbol of our future. It is also the symbol of the extraordinary personalities, who have crossed history as an example for humankind, and their followers of today.
I have dedicated a modest Award to them in the form of the small Cloak, the Chromy Award.