- This event has passed.
Alexander Zhyvotkov. Tecum Veniam
March 25, 2021 3:00 am - September 22, 2021 3:00 am
Can we really expect that such fundamental questions, as the ones posed in the Bible like “Whither goest thou?” which later in history was transformed by the modernist into “Where do we come from? What are we? Where are we going?” will ever be answered?
Zhyvotkov’s Tecum Veniam project combines three wood portals of “The Gates” and monumental wall art. The phrase “Domine, tecum veniam” or “Lord, let me also with You” is attributed to Apostle Peter who asked Jesus to follow Lord’s path of martyrdom as he returned to Rome to face crucifixion. Zhyvotkov cleverly positions symbols and creates masterful allusions which lead through the open door to eternity. History is eternal, human experience in it is eternal as well, we also see the myriads of people who vanish in history. It seems like the artist’s hand is guided by the time itself as it carves deep signs on wood. These are scars and marks left by time, they symbolise the surviving Holy Gates at the altars of Orthodox churches, when the rest of the building was raised to the ground, figurines of ancient deities discovered after millennia under the threshold in a human dwelling, and the sacred gates with heavy hinges greased with tar-oil and the blood of sacrificial animals, which lead to the heathen temples. Zhyvotkov’s gates which usually symbolise a portal to the netherworld, in his interpretation lead to the depths of history. “The Gates” represent our common history: it’s dark, awesome, and terrifying but at the same time it’s breathtakingly beautiful and filled with spiritual power. In the words of Pope Benedict XVI art is like “an open door to the infinite, to a beauty and a truth going beyond the ordinary.” As the viewer exits the portal they are met with the “Tecum Veniam” bar relief panel. It depicts several pondering figures reminiscent of the Last Supper. The background has barely recognisable quotes from the Ecclesiastes which are carved in wood. The artist is searching for answers in the ancient texts. The Ecclesiastes presents the universe as an eternal dance of history: “Generations come and generations go, but the earth remains forever”. Zhyvotkov recreates a gateway between those who are long gone to history and the living, so we can see the power behind it, it’s beauty and truth.