2013 55th International Venice Biennale Selection/Invitation from

2013 55th International Venice Biennale
Selection/Invitation from the Chamber of Public Secrets/curatorial collective, to participate
at the national pavillion of Maldives at the 55th international Venice Biennale 2013, with
the title : Portable Nation- Disappearance, as work in progress, Approaches to Ecological
"Mental Para-Dice" is an activistic, intrusive and research pilot project. It is a conjectural
artwork suggesting that by releasing the hidden knowledge (ancient wisdom and modern
science - quantum physics), the bet can be won, via an artistic, scientific, philosophical
and "metaphysical" approach, where the art meets the science the poetry and the
A multi-layered work, proposing an ark of wisdom. It aims to work as a catalyst of
reflection and discovery. It ιs about a poetic, critical, aesthetic, philosophical and scientific
stroll within space and time.
Through play and adventure it aims to retrieve hidden knowledge and forgotten truths . A
nano-university as the "alma matter" of knowledge: where the awakening of mind and soul
leads to “miracles”.
"Miracles begin to happen when you dedicate to your dreams the same energy you
dedicate to your fears".
--------------------------------------------------in&out MentalParaDice ark from Achilleas Kentonis on Vimeo.
Mental Para-dice [a code for a miracle]
by Maria Papacharalambous & Achilleas kentonis
[ Implementation of 3D animation: Babis Venetopoulos]
"Who can boost me up like fate?
Myself, riding on my back".
Our proposal works as a catalyst of reflection and discovery. Itʼs about a poetic,
critical, aesthetic, philosophical and scientific stroll within space and time.
Through play and adventure it aims to retrieve hidden knowledge and forgotten truths
(αλήθειες)*, thus bringing relationships, communication, creation, even politics to a
purely energeiac level. A nano-university as the alma matter of knowledge: where the
awakening of mind and soul leads to “miracles”.
“If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is,
infinite”. William Blake
In this moment where we meet, this moment borrowed from eternity, this works as
an invitation for reevaluating both our inner and outer world. Itʼs a monument to
human “sophia” (wisdom). A work that challenges us to open our hearts and minds,
reminding us that even though we are in possession of infinite powers, we have very
little time.
Science is a mode of conjecturing that allows us to reach temporary conclusions with
regard to logic and knowledge, which are both “available” in the here and now. Art,
on the other hand, is the sand on which we are allowed to build and destroy with
infinite freedom, using as our pretext sometimes aesthetics, sometimes the idea.
This infinite freedom feeds our being and gives us the necessary space and leisure to
alchemically bring together an amalgam of different kinds of knowledge, information
and experience, and to visually think and create what language fails to articulate:
aesthetics, physics, philosophy, psychology, mechanics, computer science, music.
“To develop a complete mind:
Study the science of art.
Study the art of science.
Learn how to see.
Realize that everything connects to everything else”.
- Leonardo da Vinci
Text by Maria Kenanidou
Art historian - Curator
"Μental Para-Dice"
"Who can boost me up like fate? Myself, riding on my back"
"Mental Para-Dice" is a conjectural artwork by Achilles Kentonis and Maria
Papacharalambous. By releasing the hidden knowledge, they venture upon an
attempt to encapsulate paradise, together with its dominant abundance and
"Mental Para-Dice" is a proposal against the accumulated denial of the fatigued
potential "homo sacer" of modern times and his (bare life); an effort to activate our
anaesthetized perceptual capacity, to reassemble the forces of resistance against
our personal hardships, be them slight or massive; an attempt against the
reconciliation with the embodiment of our distress; an internal call, a voluntary
guidance of action, fuelled by the thirst of sensation; an endeavour to discover
common grounds, a defence mechanism of adequacy and sufficiency, a trait that
nourishes resilience, an antidote to the asymptotic desires; an passage to the
voyage of retracing reality, a series of meteoric acrobatics.
Their conceptual idiom, aesthetics, physics, philosophy, psychology, mechanics,
informatics, and music: Art and Science collaborate as a remedy to the
apprehension and angst about the future, an antidote to the compromises and
concessions that persistently intensify the look of death in our eyes.
Art and Science function as a vehicle of dreams, a means to fulfil desire. The
synergy of knowledge and sensations leads to awareness, redefinition,
rapprochement of the “I”, the “We” and the “common grounds”, by tapping the
essence of things.
The artists bestow a psychonoetic kit to foster endurance outside of inherent
attachments, complications, and far from all controversy. Within their miniature
paradise, all is different, simply different, everything acquires a new dimension, a
solace, a gentle caressing of inadequacy, insecurity, the agony of sustained wounds,
the warmth of embrace, and love’s soothing breath.
Existences of today that embark on quests to the lands of oblivion, detecting the
truth, far from all aspects of obviousness, hoping to reveal the truth with lucidity.
The four maxims inscribed on the outer shell of the respective perimetric exterior
walls predispose in frugality via the fabrication of an oppositional conjugation with
the abundantly symbolic heavenly interior of the allegorical, poetic, paradisiacal
landscapes that mock the relationship with time, art history and the mainstream
perception of a heavenly Eden. Unexpected and unfamiliar projections invade in real
time and space, spurring and stimulating imagination and curiosity.
The structural elements of this Paradise include: the belief in the powers of thought,
love, affection, touch, and will; its tools: motion, music, its waves and frequencies,
the link with nature and its purity, observing the unseen, the unperceived, in the
limits and expressions of knowledge and wisdom, and the sound landscapes that
inundate this miniature paradise, extrapolating its proportions to infinity through
It is an effort of dynamics regarding relationships, incentives, references; a
contribution aiming to stir sensitivity, emotional exuberance; a springboard of
psychological euphoria. It provides the means, through which they can rethink,
reform, re-imagine or even restructure their paradise, for an instant or for a lifetime.
They invite us invite you to stroke and feel the Herculean river of life that constantly
flows between our fingers and eludes us.
Space and time viewed through the conjectural glance and work of both artists
insinuates a new reality, one of universal and ecumenical dimensions, irrelevant of
borderlines, boundaries, and identities. A mental Para-dice, an ingenious pun that
aspires to propose methods of exploration of both the existing and the
imperceptible. A paradise lost? A paradise of our togetherness? Outside our ego? A
utopian paradise? If yes, then it seems but proper to recite the words of Jacques
Derrida: “All these are one big Utopia but I set an appointment”.
Description of the Work
“Everything we see or think is nothing else but a dream within a bigger dream”. Edgar Allan Poe
Space loses its substance because we experience it through the use of compasses,
maps, coordinates and GPS devices. Nonetheless it exists as a “board game”, where
ownership and self-interest determine the rules, which :are always based on the
limitations that we ourselves oppose on us. It is in this iconicity of space, which is
essentially our new reality, that we set out to explore the visible and the non-visible.
A lost paradise? A paradise on its way? So, we propose :
A cube (around 5x5m) as an Arc of ancient and contemporary knowledge:
This cube symbolizes our very own, consciousness-bound paradise... a space that
challenges us to re-remember our infinite potentials. It stimulates social intelligence.
An alchemical space, the playground of different actions with which the audience
On the outer surface of its four peripheral walls four quotes presented.
1 Don't tell me, Show me
2 “The world is nothing more than an encrypted script”. - Karl Jaspers
3 "Knowledge is different from perception. Because perception is for the things
surrounding it but knowledge is the end of perception" - Hermes Trismegistus
4 “All these are one big Utopia but I set an appointment”. Jacques Derrida:
On the inner surface of the walls are projected landscapes of a “paradise” in
progress... allegorical, poetic images that appear at the four cardinal points in the
form of slides that follow one another sequentially (digital collage and processed
image). Borrowed elements from well-known works of art seek to point out the idea
that everything is connected and everything interacts with one another. And even
though these images are different, they share common symbols: the snake, the
forbidden fruit, the tree of knowledge, the apple.
At the four sides there are four "games/experiences" of the endless potentials available
to man. The realization of these experiences also offers a visual spectacle and an
unpredictable knowledge through joy and entertainment, thus stimulating our imagination
and curiosity.
Experience/play #1 – Telekinesis (energetic interaction of a visitor with
matter): This deals with the possibility of moving a wheel solely with the power of
our minds. This has to be filtered via a clear intentioned following the universal
laws. It is based on an article published in the famous Britishmedical journal, The
Lancet (p. 222, 30 July 1922).
Experience/play #2 – Musical plants (energetic interaction of a visitor with
plants): This has to do with the possibility of decoding energy into sound waves
/music. It is based on the pioneering discovery of a research group hailing from the
University of Bielefeld. With the help of headphones, the relationship of plants and
audience is decoded into sounds/music. Every time a plant is caressed, it produces
special sounds. A proof of the interconnection with everything.
Experience/play #3 – Augmented reality (energetic intervention of a visitor
in our own staged conjecture with the help of his/her aura): This has to do
with the possibility of seeing a universe that exists parallel to ours. With the help of
a screen and an aura camera, its actual environment becomes perceptible/visible as
it really is, while another world of hovering organisms also comes into view. A
reminder that with our 5 senses we can only see a fraction of the entire spectrum of
“reality [as a post reference of Plato's cave].
Experience/play #4 – The mystery and power of water (energetic
intervention in the social and natural environment): The water has memory
and it does change its structured (not its chemistry) according the "directions" we
give to it via emotions, intentions, words, sounds, vibrations. This is based on the
research of Dr. Masaru Emoto and other scientists.
At the center of the cube: A small Ibis, the symbol of Hermes Trismegistus known
also as Thod - the oldest knowledge available in the western world [6000 BC]. It
challenges the element of a coincidence by giving you the chance to randomly take
from a special container a card / a prophecy / a piece of advice, or a quote taken
from the ancient source of knowledge gushing out of all humanity. A contemporary
oracle which reminds us about the invisible thread connecting us with past and
future... now.
The 3D animation of the video work Mental Para-dice was done by Babis
Venetopoulos, artist and lecturer at the Department of Visual and Applied
Arts of the School of Fine Arts, at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.