Point Counterpoint
Yuko Shiraishi, 2013
Again I return to Aldous Huxley; in 2010 I created the project Missing Link at Galerie Gisele Linder in Basel, inspired by Aldous Huxley’s Heaven and Hell and The Human Situation. That people can be transported by the sight of shimmering objects and go to extraordinary lengths to extract diamonds and precious metals from the earth have nothing to do with beauty or usefulness. It is more to do with how their reflective properties draw us into ‘a world of visions’, ‘the most remote of all our inner worlds’, which lies deeper than the ‘world of memory, fantasy and imagination’ or even that of the Jungian collective unconscious.
Reading Huxley struck a deep chord inside me and I started wondering where this instinctive response to light and reflectivity came from. Is it something to do with primordial experiences we share with other animals, or is it more an aspect of perception as moderated through the human brain? By creating a courtyard garden full of shimmering elements, I want people to experience and reflect on what Huxley has so compellingly drawn our attention to. I want it to act as a Missing Link that takes us beyond the mundane and makes us able to experience ‘consciously something of that which, unconsciously, is always with us.’
I wanted to continue and combine with the 2010 project, Missing Link, with this second project, Point Counterpoint, since the subject still draws my attention.
Aldous Huxley’s novel Point Counterpoint is influenced by Bach’s use of counterpoint in music. Counterpoint is the relationship of sounds very different from one another, and independent rhythm and contour, yet when played together are harmonious. This forms a polyphony that reinforces and comments on the structures of the original individual voices. Influenced by this, Huxley’s novel Point Counterpoint tells the story of a group of intellectuals that listen to music that involves counterpoint. In this novel, Huxley purposely imitates Bach achieves a harmonic balance of tragedy and comedy.
In the gallery garden, I will have the light embedded in the earth so that the night sky is represented in the ground. These opposites will reinforce the status of the ground and the sky and comment on one another yet shall achieve paradoxical harmony.
My new paintings are very much related to this exploration of space, marks, signals, sounds, perceptions and relations.