In certain drawings, there is something dormant, something we might call apollonic, as suggests a kind of otherworldly eternal melancholy. Maybe it is the irresolvable and enigmatic sorrow of geometry that this feeling derives from: the sublime loneliness of symmetries, the always present doubt that dwells in images reflected by a mirror, or the hopeless platonic love of the infinite. Paradoxical worlds, unconstructable buildings, improbable spaces – at least, that is the label attached to them, though they are unimaginable only for a traditional mentality well-defined by convention. In a more artful interpretation, from an anamorphic or spiritual viewpoint, these images are by no means unreal – furthermore, they might even help us understand the messages of Atlantises sunk under seas or consciousness. On the seventh day, whilst the Lord took some rest, man crept right into the middle of a mirror-maze called Creation. Wherever he looks, he can see only the reflection of himself. The grass, trees, stars and all other creatures are at an angle of 90 degrees (perpendicular to?) to his visual ray. Unable to see, feel or perceive anything besides himself, he correlates all experiences with his ego. Should he be able to change just a minute in this ancient, egoistic situation ciphered into his genes, the rays reflected would not return to their source so much exhausted on this never-ending and meaningless route of the pendulum, but could be reflected further beyond, towards new and yet unknown surfaces, flashing and zigzagging into the indefinite, through webs of geometry. Then it could be transformed into something cognizable, something even the imagination of which is prohibited by his present state, being enclosed in a mirror. Anamorphosis, a representation in perspective forgotten several times over, then used again and again, is a somewhat naïve and mystic wilding – to achieve ab ovo impossibilities with its oblique visual angles, the solution to the original mirror situation – at least under theoretical, or if you like, laboratory conditions. The viewer of anamorphosis not only completes the work – to quote Duchamp’s notorious saying – he also completes himself to be identified as viewer. While looking for the appropriate viewpoint and recognising the image distorted so that it once again becomes meaningful, he also defines his own spatial co-ordinates. The viewer of anamorphosis does not focus on the image projected onto his retina, but rather the correlations between the work and himself. He has to concentrate on where the work of art – or rather, the visual rays branching out of it – is located in the space it creates and defines, also staying aware of the modifications its movement brings about in the meaning of the image. Whilst engaged in this in the physical space, he involuntarily perceives the reception upon himself, or if you like, observes the psychological mechanism of ‘artistic pleasure’ in the spiritual space generated by anamorphosis. One who comes into contact with anamorphoses will feel more self-contained, yet also more vulnerable: upon recognising the exchange of roles and place, one has to realise he is no longer at the centre of the world. On the one hand, he will feel the wonder of the creation of an image; on the other, he will know he has been left alone with this illusion that does not even exist in reality, but is rather a projection appearing only in his own mind.
Illustrations: István Orosz: The Labyrinth of Theseus (India ink, aquarelle, chrome plated brass pyramid), Dionysos (India ink, aquarelle, chrome-plated brass cylinder)