Thursday, February 07, 2013

Don Pablo Quixote in MC Escher's labyrinth

 Maurits Cornelis.

 Of course M.C. Escher was a Dutchman.

I managed to find the luminous Escher in het Paleis (museum), and got lost somewhere at the intersection between eternity and infinity.

Maurits Cornelis, you are one the most brilliant minds that has ever existed.  He understood the Renaissance vantage line; shaped by the Romantic impressionist image and the Japanese wood block print that bore it.  And the surreal life.  Somewhere between Da Vinci, Dali and Einstein

And he understood Borges' notion of panta rhei- everything flows.  Flowing from infinity to eternity.  An elemental song of ice and fire.  Everything and nothing all at once.

Such incredible infinity.  Such depth.  Journey on.

A casbah fortress looking into the infinite sands.  If you cannot count all the grains of sand, or the stars above, can you reach the vertigo of infinity?

The unending seas of rocky waves on black Japanese woodblock prints.  The second day of creation. As God moves slowly over the face of water.

Landscapes in rustic art deco imagination.  I think scenes that only El, Borges y yo might see.

La Mezquita of Cordoba with its infinite columns.

A vision of Venice through the lattice work, and I felt I like I was seeing the city through someone else's eyes.

The brilliance of Escher's work is that I see it through his lens.  Like pictures and wood block prints through a surreal lens.

I was literally cooing from room to room, as I swam through eternity and infinity.

Ripple in still water.  Oh, if my words did glow.

His visions of reflections through his own eyes is masterful.  The perfect details.  The lines on his hands.  Of the reflections hidden and remembered.

I found myself in a solid staring contest with Mauritz.  I saw him staring deep.  Mauritz, you are an aleph.  And what, pray tell, is an aleph?  It is a vantage point between eternity and infinity.  Spoken of Borges.  Found by few.

I have found a few alephs in my fair day.  In Delhi, through the mirrors of Anish Kapoor.  At the SAM in the Emerald City.  But never have I found such an aleph before.

Staring through mirrors to see Escher's view just a bit better, and letting the reflection make my eyes open just a bit wider to see.  "But my dreams are not empty, as my conscience seems to be."

"Escher was constantly imaging new combinations to take the viewer by surprise.  He wanted to draw attention to something impossible."

What Escher discovered is perpetual motion.  The same thing that Borges discovered prior, deep in his labyrinth of the mind.  Of infinity and eternity.

And what is this aleph that Borges discovered, and Escher sketched?

It is a point of vertigo that makes you reach the intersection of infinity and eternity.  It is a physical feeling of dizziness through a connection with a vertigo point of infinitum.

Escher understood it in the swimming mind.  This vertigo point in Escher's work is called tessellation, but perhaps he would call it "to metamorphose."  I circled a panorama of metamorphose and swam around the mobius strip track he fashioned.

"In my prints I try to show that we live in a beautiful and orderly world, not in formless chaos, [...].  I cannot resist fooling around with our established certainties.  It give me great pleasure, for example, to deliberately mix up the mind and third dimension, flat and spatial, and to make fun of gravity."
-M.C. Escher

That is an aleph.  A twirl through the twilight zone in a panorama of metamorphose.

Perhaps Escher discovered the calligraphic aleph that the Moors found in the name of God.  The point of God found at the intersection of infinity and eternity.

The point where infinity and eternity metamorphose.

A third possibility, along side metamorphosis and cycles, is the combination with perpetual motion as in Mobius Strip II.

Illusionary dominoes falling down on a mobius strip.  Escher in his labyrinth, and my ink-stained fingers trying to keep up.  Truly Don Pablo Quixote down in the depths of MC Escher's labyrinth.

And how does this effect affect my own work?  In my photography, as I search for that same vantage point. Somewhere between infinity and eternity.  Through lined reflections that reach toward infinity.  In my writing as I try to let the ink flow like endless rivers.  The unending search in my travels for those elemental points at which all is one.

Finding the aleph in its hidden grace.  Finding the countenance of God hidden so deep in beauty that you feel dizzy.  Like a whirling dervish.

Somewhere at the intersection of eternity and infinity this journey ends.  Until then, journey on.

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