The Ascent of Orpheus
At this unique event to the UK, "The Ascent of Orpheus",
there will be a special introduction by Brian O’Mahony and
Antonina Randazzo discussing the 2015 Adi Da Samraj exhibition of the Orpheus suite that took place at the Bargello National Museum in Florence, Italy.
Adi Da Samraj (1939–2008) created visual, literary, and performance art for more than forty years with a single intention: to create works of art that would draw the viewer beyond the feeling of egoic separateness into the feeling of “prior unity.”
His artistic output includes drawings, paintings, sculptures, and a large body of ground-breaking photographic, video-graphic, and digitally composed work. Adi Da’s work appeared as an official solo collateral exhibition at the 2007 Venice Biennale, in a solo show in the historic Cenacolo di Ognissanti (Florence), and in gallery and art shows in New York, Los Angeles, Miami, London, and Amsterdam.
In this unusual bridging of ancient myth and digitally composed large-scale fabrications, the Ascent of Orpheus suite is a sweeping and at times demanding retelling of the famous Orpheus and Eurydice myth.
“Orpheus is a singer, a poet and a musician. A poet in the ancient days was like a shaman, a psychic, an extraordinary character, reflecting the Truth to everyone by virtue of that submission of himself or herself. The poet can, by virtue of that submission, keep everyone associated with the Great Heart, the Great Disposition” – Adi Da Samraj.
His digitally composed works demonstrate the artist’s reach beyond the linear perspective and individual “point of view” that have dominated Western art since the Renaissance.
In the Orpheus suite, Adi Da is not simply mirroring the Greek myth, in which Orpheus attempts to save his beloved from death but ultimately is defeated. Rather, Adi Da transforms the myth into a “second-birth of flight”, in which Orpheus victoriously ascends from Hades, drawing Eurydice (and metaphorically, everyone) up into the realm of Light.
Thus, Adi Da’s works are not merely artistic masterpieces, but vechiles through which he intends to transform the myths and archetypes of history.
“The secret of Orpheus is hidden (or encoded) in the images
— the secret of the flight out of the hell and into the Earth-world, and, ultimately, into the Divine Domain of Conscious Light”
- Adi Da Samraj:
Achille Bonito Oliva, the internationally acclaimed Italian art critic and historian who curated Adi Da Samraj’s official collateral exhibition at the 2007 Venice Biennale, notes in his essay in The Ascent of Orpheus exhibition catalog: “The abstraction of Adi Da Samraj is anti-rhetorical and aspires to restore humanity to a state of contemplation and reflection . . . His abstract images look upon the world from beyond any point of view.”
Peter Weibel, Chairman of ZKM Center for Art and Media (Karlsruhe), notes that “Adi Da’s pursuit of the spiritual paths found in early abstraction, from Kandinsky to Mondrian, and his translation of that pursuit into the digital age, restore a transcendental spirituality to the materialism of the machine aesthetic.”
Art critic Donald Kuspit has written, “Protean and unified at once, Adi Da’s ever-changing images become all-pervasive ‘big screen’ experiences, perceptually riveting, indeed, sometimes excruciatingly intense, but always balanced and even sublime sensory experiences.”
“The image-art I make and do...is, primarily and fundamentally, about “significant form”, aesthetic ecstasy, and ecstasy itself – and (ultimately) ego-transcending Realization of Reality Itself”: Adi Da Samraj
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The venue is in 118 Church street, SIDE ENTRANCE and is opposite The Dome. Refreshments provided. Please arrive at 7.15pm for a 7.30pm start. Thanks.
We look forward to seeing you there on Friday 1st September!. Gavin
The Old Courtroom
118 Church Street, Brighton, United Kingdom