The Eternal Suspense is the title of Giovanna Cercise’s latest full region installation now open at the Linden endowment for the Arts, as a part of the 8th round of the Artist in Residence programme.
A complex piece mixing geometrical forms with human elements, the installation extends several hundred metres into the air, encompassing a number of distinct levels. Within the lattices and sphere which give a sense of order to the the build, there is also an element of disorder: human figures rising from the lowest platform, climbing the lattices upwards into the sky, stretching up towards a white figure crouched at the highest level.
Giovanna has taken as her theme the Apollonian and Dionysian philosophical dichotomy, perhaps most famously expounded within Friedrich Nietzsche in his 1871 study, The Birth of Tragedy. in which he examines the nature of Greek Tragedy before going on to use the Greek model to understand the state of modern culture.
The central concept of the Apollonian and Dionysian dichotomy is that Apollo is the god of reason and the rational, while Dionysus is the god of the irrational and chaos; therefore the core of all great tragedy grows out of the interplay between the differing world views they represent.
Within The Eternal Suspense Giovanna embodies and interprets this concept artistically. “Man is poised between two or more emotions, he is always in a delicate step,” she states, “in a hazardous environment. Its location is never easy, he is a tightrope imprisoned in constant tension between his Dionysian side and the Apollonian one. But [do] you have really to choose? Or you have really to find a balance?”
Thus, this interplay is defined between the lattice (ordered and rational) and the mass of figures climbing it (disorder, chaotic). But it also runs deeper. The figures themselves are rising from a scene somewhat chaotic in nature, with what appears to be roiling waves (or perhaps flames) mixed with revelry; but while their ascent up through the lattice may seem chaotic, it is both purposeful (rational) and encompasses cooperation (order), the figures all assisting one another. Thus the tension we can experience in trying to find a balance between our Apollonian and Dionysian “sides” is embodied in their form and efforts.
To get around the work, you can either fly, or use the teleport spinning tops (the first is located at the landing point). Right click on them and select TELEPORT, and they take you up through each level. Giovanna recommends a sunset windlight for the piece; I’d actually suggest something more towards a dusk level of lighting.
The Eternal Suspense will be open through until the end of June 2015.