In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni
The title can be read from left to right as well as from right to left, and can be translated to: We gyrate in the night and are consumed by the fire.
This Latin palindrome seemed very appropriate to me, because it talks about darkness, a darkness in which we see and realize little, and because it tells of our errant circling ways in life as well as of our passions. This is expressed in a wonderful way by the form of a letter chain that is readable forwards and backwards. This palindrome was the starting point of this cycle that is consisting of seven images at present.
They are self-portraits, in which I’m principally functioning as a kind of shaman. Connecting between sky and earth, between up and down, between east and west, between past and present I’m uniting certain elements out of different cultural regions in my person.
The images talk of the passions of the different partial personalities or aspects in us. But as well of an inner homeland that nowhere and yet, longing far into the distance, everywhere exists.
How could you e.g. read the image I. of „In girum imus nocte …“? To me it was important that in the back on the wall, the Holy Mother holds her heavenly baby, and in front, the portait of the man with the make-up of the Chinese opera, is keeping an earth-animal on his lap. He embraces the badger like Maria is embracing her child: protective! The man wears a dress from Nigeria. Down at the seam a snail is moving towards the badger. The temptation is approaching … Additionally he is wearing a wig of the Geishas. The location is a side chapel in the dome of Siena.
Image II. of the cycle shows the Hindu god of drama, Kathakali, with his green mask. He plays a prominent role in the Hindu epos Mahabharata and Ramayana. In front of a row of Italian wedding dresses he holds a squirrel in his hands, a symbol of the collecting and the domestic.
Image IV. shows a shaman, rapt with eyes closed, in a kind of attentive trance. Only his raptor, chasing out of high altitudes, is looking – quasi vicariously – directly out of the image. The man wears a baroque wig and a Tibetan nomadic blanket. He is marked with some mathematical symbols, and primes. And in this way shows him connected with a quite systematic and spiritual world. He is standing under a bridge, in our part of the world one of the few locations that is free of commercial uses, free for graffiti, often free of people, besides the proverbial “sleepers under the bridge”. The space below bridges is a kind of a new paradise.
All images of this cycle are subjected a certain cultural globalization. Many influences and qualities are finding a place in these artistic positions. Here, elements from many nations and cultures and times are united.