editor: Sorin-Mihai Grad  |  redactor-şef: Ştefan Bolea    ||    EgoPHobia #7 | august '05
e-revistă culturală fondată în iunie 2004 ................ apare la începutul lunilor pare din an

Axel Lenn

Facing Europe

Carl Solomon

Belfast Rhapsody, The Priest With Hidden Sword, amerika,

Diana Sitaru

Black and white, Marking footsteps in the streams

Ada Ionescu

Masters Of The Void, Alea Iacta Est - Ars Poetica

Adrian Ioniţă

The Paradisiacal Memory of Silviu Oravitzan

Facing Europe

Axel Lenn

-Mioritza beee
Beee mouton frisé,
Qu'estce que vous avez?!
-Je suis égaré...

Addressing its European integration perspectives, the frequently proposed type of discourse basically states that Romania, despite historical breaches, has always been part of Europe especially if one were to consider the exquisite cultural heritage. Reformulating, one might easily conclude Europe is somewhat obliged to recognize this special via triumphalis Romania has been ascending to intrinsically. And here comes the best part, the de facto explanation of Romania's sacrifice in defending Europe throughout past centuries... Fatalitas! Frankly, I cannot imagine anyone responsible who could actually fall for these naïvetés, although playing the victim in the nowadays international imbroglio might prove a functional scheme. Whereas decency is concerned, Romania has a lot of issues to approach at cultural level as well - covering the present human crisis with the "exquisite cultural heritage" showcase won't provide any resolution. How about a decent, clear-minded analysis of who we are/who they are, a neither-nor critical approach on past, present and future options?
European culture and tradition is a merely unrealistic syntagm: hundreds of years of fratricidal disputes enacted a domination competition most European nations became part of, maintaining their individuality however. Because of the various strong identities of the continent, the picture of a physically united Europe following the American federal type is purely utopian: the European model will never go beyond a federation of interests - this is the only historically realistic consensu omnium imaginable. Now, integrating in such a federation means two things basically: 1. sharing certain values and common interests; 2. contributing. Going over European values, it's quite clear that eastern border countries count for less: Renaissance Carpathians are quite pathetic next to the Alps; Eminescu's intensively acclaimed original blend of classicism and romanticism is equally pathetic next to Hugo and Byron; the point is that Romania's cultural identity at its best, though original in many ways, is simply too primitive to be measured against western patterns. No need mentioning social and political profile relevance at all. The victim scenario explanations and tutti quanti might be credible enough since there is an eastern syndrome of primitivism affecting other cultures too, a patent conditio humana emanating periphery; though other border nations did their best to get rid of it, and Poland is a wonderful example. Primitive does not refer strictly to the output, cultural or otherwise, but to the input of an era as well, and there are two importantly specific traditional flaws Romanian spirit came upon five centuries ago, yet to be discarded, that are anything but civilized or dignifying, namely Balkan corruption and the extremely popular (still) anti-verticality. Romania Felix (1918-1940) signaled an apparently changing drift from Mioritza wailing over bent reed to a spectacular European civilization. This facade proved too frail to survive the inner caragialesque atmosphere then postwar politics when the only European oriented values Romania had ever produced were sacrificed in favor of a degenerate "tellectuality". Those able to leave became prominent elsewhere - Cioran and Ionesco are, in fact, two of the greatest French writers of the 20th century, just like Brancusi, the famous French artist, and Palade, the American Noble laureate. Those who chose not to leave shared Blaga's destiny, died in prison or were simply executed. How European does self-annihilation sound? Mutatis mutandis, how restive and irresponsible? No victim-disguise works here, I'm afraid, no superpowers that sealed the fate of a small country for decades to come - for the sheer fact negotiations were based on occupied territories, and it was Romania who opened the gates for Stalin to march straight into the heart of the continent on August 23, 1944; for the sheer fact that Romania sealed much more than its own fate, but the fate of almost half of Europe as well. I think this is quite a serious contribution, Europe's got a lot to be thankful for indeed...
As far as nowadays expectations go, a different codus operandi seems to have taken the stage: leaving things the way they are and mystifying everything ad vitam aeternam possibly, though pretending cannot last that long. 45 years of socialist realism creating a breach with Europe, destroying everything oriented westward, with many otherwise powerful voices resisting in absentia (unlike other communist regimes) meant utterly nothing: no transition per se, no effort to recover anything but a hidden agenda to let time perpetrate its capital job. 1989, resembling Rebreanu's The Uprising, brought forth absolute vacua of authority, self-proclaimed ex-resistant talent turning to an authentic crème de la crème plus a huge pile of graphomaniac "late-postmodernist" non-identities to counterbalance the old Nomenklatura efforts of staging a functional European democracy... can anyone get as original as that?! Debates go on, I'm pretty sure there are many who view these topics polemic enough, but, at the end of it all, one thing remains clear as daylight: the breach between Romania and its Diaspora has become immense throughout 15 years of postceausism.
How European is Romania's message today? What chances are there with no real dimensions, with no solid lobby? To be quite honest it's the exact opposite, a Romanian generated anti-Romanian feeling seen everywhere on occasions. There's not even an official site promoting a different image, a database with historical and geographical facts, with facts on Romanian spirituality, traditions and culture, a trite way of promotion with huge accessibility - I've tried spreading the idea around myself, but image is not an interesting topic, not officially anyway. Pretence is time-consuming, no chance for a real approach on the pile of issues we have, on the other hand. A bad image is no tragedy, no tragedy being a veritable terra incognita in the very depth, we're so full of surprises waiting to be discovered we leave ourselves perplexed at times. Many of us feel confident, safe, even proud, finding no reason to worry - our overall disgusting machina infernalis boiling up from the inside with original contradictions and driven by "we are l'ombelico dell mondo" mentalities has quite a history of muddling other people's plans up... Europe would better get ready for the rumbles ahead. sus!

Belfast Rhapsody

Carl Solomon

I think that salieri was a genius
and I think
that mozart could never
perceive genius
as I perceive it
ßeta delta se?
bros in the arms of death
fed up with toxines
that could never change the way I am

m in m
double sigma
delta sigma
promo for the gods
eros that never
you think my lips
are sweet
because you're drunk
with pain

well I think that salem is a palace
and I think that the children of the us korn
are faster than the silver bullets
I keep chested in my brain

yeah, quick like a padlock
like a deep shitt
you only ingest
from fake funny binladens

steven seagulf
why don't ou wake up
once again
crush the satelites
with a retinal scan
scar the fast light
with a triple x cola

dive into my brain
and fasten my kamikaze
fasten the mice and men
as we should speak
and forever hold the verb
only of wolf a m men

fuck islamism
allah can suck me
six feet thick whip
fuck muhamad

if you attack my city

I shall command joyce
I shall summon beckets
and I shall awakesus!

The Priest With Hidden Sword

Carl Solomon

freddy mercury
spoke through me
alley iverson
spoke through me
when he broke
the lakers

slash chose the velvel revolver
but gnr is nothing
without it's war
kobe is nothing without it's shaq

it's like new orleans
without it's sunrise
an like judas
without it's elm street

you can't brake me and you can't break me
she de-coded me and I un-code you all
like a virgin
no whore
and like a horse
without a rider. sus!


Carl Solomon

amerika don't be a COW-ard
you sent your rockets
to the moon
(but you'll never get them back huh)

only to humiliate
the russians
amerika you be humble
humble wie jay-z
& linkin park
and evanescence
used to be
or as the greatest
genius ever
brandon lee sus!

Black and white

Diana Sitaru

What have you seen within the looking glass?
Within the wintry hours of that night...
What could have made your soul to pass
From light to dark, through fear and fright
Full deceit in black and white.

Shhh...slowly the wind wipes out your tear
You must have been turning over a new leaf
By now, also he should have been here
But he left you lonely disguised in belief
He cannot feel nor anger or grief.

The empty morning washed your hopes away
And it all vanished like the first ray of light
What could have made his soul to stay
And promise you he would come tonight?
It's all deceit in black and white...sus!

Marking footsteps in the streams

Diana Sitaru

In heavens I'm passing my fate to perceive
For life is a garden of hope and despair.
I'm walking through deserts alone to receive
Thy blessings my father, in the humming air.

Dismissed from the past, awaken in death
This dainty daisy never spoke a word to me.
Now she burst into tears, crucified in wreath
Averting the times she wouldn't let me be.

Her portrait of sin hanging still in my mind
She is coming along, wet her feet in the streams
The lid of this coffin made me feel blind
They don't hear my last screams,
They don't know how I suffer
Though she could never reach my dreams
I see her footsteps in water... sus!

Masters Of The Void

Ada Ionescu

In front of him. Three chairs right
three chairs left. Why did he sit so
accurately frontal? Facing the opponent
Which of us doesn't see
German-flavored movements caught
In dreamt-of photographs. The eye-camera's
fixed on blurring sepia.
Neon juxtaposed. Reading under Spanish
conquerors of nothing.
History grows in spasms of stolen freedom,
as it gaps the full-roomed finger
under perfect shaped neon I could turn it
off. February sets on an empty requiem
killing marches of another alphabet
the sound of darkness.
A three-chaired distance from
black to white. Neon-surfaced reality
the grotesque gives way to the beautiful.sus!

Alea Iacta Est - Ars Poetica

Ada Ionescu

Spatial fractions in regret
Time moves with sighs of daggers
I would have liked to watch
the falling birds.
Uncovering dilemma. If I were
the muse who'd be the poet:
The mega-text. The lost sun.
Piercing through my eye. I stand
abused. Incognito surmounted
in square-bloomed walls. Saturndays
weeping I smell this world's end
Sun sweeping lingers over writing
blind's machine I see but midnight's
chimes when drowned into me.
Murdering mementos I circle the collapsed
This dying sun
recovering a fugue of loving limbs.sus!

The Paradisiacal Memory of Silviu Oravitzan

Adrian Ioniţă

I never saw a moor,
I never saw the sea;
Yet I know how the heather looks,
And what a wave must be.
I never spoke with God,
Nor visited in heaven;
Yet certain am I of the spot
As if the chart were given.
oceanum quem credidi: E. Dickinson

Graciously tendered to our intellection, the inclusion of Silviu Oravitzan in a monumental art show [1] is a contenting event, not only for a visual artist, but for a philosopher or poetic mind as well. This happens mostly because of the beautifully blended nature of Oravitan's artistic message and imagery. In his own words, Oravitzan is approaching the man's challenge of transcending his earthly perspective, and see things from a divine point of view. [2] He does that, by using basic symbols as the Cross, the Center and the Light, inviting the viewer to forge an exploration in the elusive and mystifying realm of Paradisiacal Memory.

Even though I am not obstinately concerned with salvation, I never relinquished my innocent temptation to probe the congruities ingrained in our apprehension of mind, soul and memory. The subject is highly debated in the studies of human consciousness, mostly because each discovery seems to add more mystery than it solves. The mandarin style of this literature is highly metaphoric and persuasive. Oravitzan's theoretical circumambulation seems to be an exercise fused in the same lineage.

"When science has answered all its last questions- and solved all its problems - life will still be unexplained." said Wittgenstein. His words fell on us deadweight. Still, the art world never felt threatened by inadequacy towards objective reality or historical truth. Even though, in the art world Oravitzan may look like an anchorite, he never invokes the authority of the Scriptures. His exercise is abstracted with primeval archetypes. The Paradise is one of them. The Hindus referred to it as the Krita Yuba, the Hebrews as Eden, the Sumerians as Dilmun, and the Greeks as the Golden Age. It was observed by the Native Americans as the Time of the First People, by Chinese as the Age of Perfect Virtue. It surfaced in so many cultures, that today became plausible to believe that the myth has a historical content, and sometimes in the primeval past some sort of grandiose drama impressed on the memory of the first people on Earth. [3]

Oravitzan's genuine idea is that transcending reality is a matter of identification and transposition of symbols. Sacre and Profane are like a piece of stone broken in two. One part of it is in us and the other part was kept by God. Transcendence and illumination is attained by solving the puzzle of putting these pieces together. A wonderful metaphor, repeated obsessively by the artist. Paradisiacal memory is imbedded in the mystery of transcendental symbols. The Center, The Cross, The Light, embody in their simplicity, instructions to structure an ideal world. In one of his interviews, Oravitzan associates this process to a DNA code, probably in reference to a description made in 1988 by Richard Heinberg [3]:

"Perhaps the memory of Paradise can be compared to a metaphysical DNA code -- a pattern that is built into our psyche, just as the physical DNA code is built into our cellular structure - whose purpose is to guide the enfoldment of human culture. In this view, Paradise is simply the natural way things are supposed to be, the way we were designed to live together and in relationship with Nature and Cosmos. In ignoring or short-circuiting that code of unfoldment, we trigger another part of that code - the warning system - which appears as the fear and expectation of apocalypse or purification.
The new pattern into which the chaotic mass will be drawn cannot come from the old structures of human culture. The only pattern strong enough to draw the disparate elements of human lives into meaning and order is the pattern already present at the core of the collective unconscious - the paradisal memory of the natural state of being. "

The obvious, naive question, which comes to mind, metamentalizing on the top of these thoughts is whether we really can have a glimpse of the Paradise, the way a scientist is doing interpretations of the DNA code.
Locating the patterns already present in our memory has an entire history. In the past it was achieved through meditation aided by props like a mandala or an icon. In his interview with Deborah Howkins [2] Oravitzan claims that:

"Time can be viewed as two continuums; historical time and extra-historical time - time out of history, or time before history, when man was in paradise. In a way, man "fell" into history when he was banished from paradise. Since we have been operating on historical time, man has been confronted with the events of daily life, with seasons, with love, births, deaths, or work. Yet, even while absorbed in these things, man has been obsessed with ideas that were not from his daily existence. Why? The answer for this, I believe, is that these signs were coming from his paradisiacal memory. Man has stored experiences in his memory that occurred before he became part of history, before he was banished from paradise. From this, we can explain the power of these symbols all over the world, before technology. Man has retained his memory of paradise and the light he experienced there. Seeing these symbols help people recover or retrieve their memories of paradise and in doing so, makes them feel closer to God. These symbols inspire beatitude, peace - they help a person feel at peace with himself. They also foster feelings of liberation from suffering and evil. "

This brings us to the question whether an icon is "recovered" through mental imagery from the abyss of a memory which exists there without experience, or is constructed through associations with the visual world.
In "The Craft of Thought, Meditation, rethoric, and the making of images, 400-1200 ", (Cambridge University Press, 1998) Mary Carruthers adduces a famous applology written to Abbot William of St. Thierry by the ascetic master Bernard of Clairvaux (d. 1153), in which he excoriates lazy monks who rely on other peoples images, instead of concentrating on aspectus and affectus, forms of memory training as concentrated inner seeing for a full recreation of "things". Meditation is the interior reading of the book of one's memory and the stylistic ornament plays an important role in this process. Figuration prevents the meditators from inwardseeing, and in Mary Carruthers words, "to perfect their own mental machines", or to "create meditational compositions entirely within the mind, relying on images already in place".

Are there images already in place? In common monastic idiom, arrgues Marry Caruthers, one "remembers" Heaven or Hell, by making a mental vision or "seeing" of invisible things from the matters in his memory. She gives an example in the work of a rethoric proffesor at Bolognia, Boncompagno da Signa (1235), who included in his disscution of rhetorical memoria, sections as "De memoria paradisi" or "De memoria inferni", and even gave us clues for understanding how we may "remember future things", through their likness to past things .

---------------------------------------- to be continued

© 2005 Adrian Ionită. Images: © 1998 Silviu Oraviţan

[1] "Cosmic Christianity", the National Museum of Catholic Art and History,
2002-2003, New York
[2] A conversation with Silviu Oravitzan. Interview by Deborah Howkins
[3] author Richard Heinberg on April 28, 1988. The event was sponsored by The Association for Responsible Communication.
http://www.healingwithsoul.com/Cleo_as_Isis.pdf sus!

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