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Firmament

Terrestrial constellations as seen from Trappist - 1e.

Terrestrial constellations as seen from Trappist - 1e.

Firmament (2018, in progress) is an artistic exploration of an alternative “side” of the sky. It stems from a collaboration with the ‘Space Visualization’ Department of the Adler Planetarium in Chicago, which enabled me to shift the point of astronomical observation to a recently discovered “second Earth” (named Trappist-1e), 40 light-years away from us, and to take a snapshot of the sky above it.

The Trappist vault is a sky with no orientation, where the stars we know are in completely different positions, and our own constellations can no longer serve their original purposes.

To change perspective on the sky means to relate with it as an object and possibly observe it as public space, re-defined and re-designed by a collective’s own point of observation, their imagination, and several centuries of mystical sciences, religion, philosophy, speculations, and politics.

Firmament, 2019, ink, charcoal and graphite on paper, 226 x 148 cm.

These drawings, which I call firmaments, trace my first approaches toward this new sky, seeking a different kind of orientation, looking for geometries, and projecting myself upon a blank canvas - leaving along the mark of an arbitrary act such as dissecting the sky, in the form of suggested symmetries and shapes.
They are firmaments, although nothing in them will actually remain firm.

I used 20th Century navigation and bathymetric charts from all over the world and blacked out consistent portions of them with graphite.
Then, I placed the stars from a piece of the Trappist sky using white India ink.
Marks explore the field along with my gaze.
I calibrate for orientation. I create mental pictures that disappear as I advance in all directions.
I pin down points, stumble across geometries, and sense new narratives of navigation.

Firmament , 2018, ink, charcoal and graphite on paper, 100 x 70 cm.

Firmament, 2018, ink, charcoal and graphite on paper, 100 x 70 cm.

Read the exhibition 'zine below to know more about each work.