Altar to Nothing

Altar to Nothing. 
[Nothing] Cube. 
Installation. Sculpture. Interactive performance. 

Altar to Nothing offers adoration for the concept of Nothingness. In parallel to my graduation thesis ‘Meditations from the Void’ and my continuing research project, I want to show that Nothing is not something to be scared of. Rather, I want to show its tranquillity, peace and even its potential to inspire. For me, the absent is a productive notion. The work uses the mirror as an analogy; When we look at the mirror, we never see the mirror itself, only the reflections inside it. Just so with Nothing. We can only refer to Nothing and never experience it directly. 

The [Nothing] Cube I constructed using only mirrors and glue. 56 mirror panels are pointing towards each other and structured in such a way that it supports its own shape and blocks out all light. From the outside, we only see the back of the panels. Inside, there is nothing left to reflect, not even light to cause the reflection, finally allowing for the true face of the mirror: the face of Nothing. Knowing this, we can look at the cube and only see the reference, the [Nothing], mirroring the discursive limitations of its nature. As such, we use it as a relic, a focuspoint for our worship only one material layer removed from the divine. 

For the 1-week duration of the exhibition, I attend to the altar through repeated acts of maintenance. Meanwhile, I am warming Gallium with my hands, a metal that melts at body temperature into a highly reflective, mirror-like liquid. Once molten, I add it to the sculpture, move it around or simply melt it again once it has solidified. I engage the visitors in conversation about Nothingness and give them pieces of Gallium to melt themselves with the instruction to add it to the sculpture where they see fit. Throughout the week, the sculpture changes constantly. The liquid mirror flows - like the productive Nothing - causing new reflections without end.  

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Photography: Yi Wang, Rodrigo Munnecom.