Dialogue with the Flows 2010
An installation of photo-based kinetics Dialogue with the Flows focuses on interrelations between spirituality and ancient medicine and the metaphorical possibility to heal concepts, like religion. The concept is treated, while the subject (patient) is to be cured of the concept. The historical technology of cupping applied in this project is being subjected to –next to spiritual and religious- (self) exploration and it’s historical, cross cultural, nomadic and socio-political context.
Instead of cupping based on the traditional points or patterns, I applied the figure and the symbol of cross. The cross is one of the most ancient human symbols, used by many religions, such as Christianity. It is frequently a representation of the division of the world into four elements, or the union of the concepts of divinity and the world.
It is an installation of multiple two-sided repetitive images of a man from behind, with his arms wide and a cupped cross figure on his back. The images hang in a series of rows, which are then hung from the ceiling. The narrow space between the images, which allows just enough space for the visitor to walk by, places the viewer into the "intimate" space of the work. Best visible from the side, the images creating a stirring effect as the viewer’s movement creates interference patterns - or new wave patterns - from the image. The repetitive images and their movement reflect upon the sucking of the cupping action and the ever-changing position of religion and spirituality in society.
In Chinese Medicine, cupping is traditionally applied to certain acupuncture points, based on the Meridian grid on the human body, as well as to those regions of the body that are affected by pain. This is to release the stagnations in the flow of the Qi, the vital energy. Cupping in Europe and the Middle East is based on humeral medicine, a belief dating to the ancient Greeks which is based on the supposition that temperament and health were related to the balance or imbalance of four "humors" in the body: blood, phlegm, yellow bile and black bile. These notions of internal balance have many parallels with traditions of Indian Ayurveda, Tibetan Medicine, Persian Unani and Traditional Chinese Medicine. This method Ancient medicine in multiple forms spread between Asian, Middle Eastern and European civilizations, through the migration waves and the caravans of the Silk Road.