A Brief View Of Everything
By Justin Mills and Franco Angeloni
At The Art Center, Center of Academic Resources, Chulalongkorn University
November 8 – December 25, 2010
Opening Reception: Thursday November 11, 2010, 6-8:30pm
How we see the world influences the world we live in. In times of great chaos and conflict, there is often a desperate need to find an explanation as to why a certain problem occurs and what will be the solution to that problem. Based on facts as much as assumptions, referencing philosophies as much as statistics, debates and discussions are formed to address ‘the truth’ of ‘the matter’ and reach a consensus on a resolution.
A Brief View Of Everything, a two-person exhibition by British artist Justin Mills and Dutch/Italian artist Franco Angeloni, offers itself as a platform to engage the viewer in this dialogue. Featuring Mills’ iconic ‘48 Portraits Of God’ series and Angeloni’s combination of messages and happenings, the show creates a challenge to people’s perception and proposes a different view, or different views, with which we can see the world, ourselves and one another. At times shocking and indefinite, their art attempts to widen any fixed, narrow and judgmental point of view we may have and gives a glimpse of perspectives that are more open and inclusive, even when those perspectives are difficult for us to take in.
48 Portraits Of God
What do Lady Gaga, Nazi gas chambers, Prince Siddartha and Japanese bondage all have in common? They are all God according to British artist Justin Mills, who suggests that ‘perhaps God is Everything and Everything is God’ and he attempts to make this possibility more real in his paintings. After twenty five years of studying the world’s spiritual philosophies he has come to understand that this simple, profound proposition of non-duality is found at the core of all the great wisdom traditions. It is the intrinsic, underlying unity of all things indicated in the art of all the great religions that he is now trying to reveal in a new form of post-post-modern art, or ‘integral art’, as it transcends and includes as much as possible. This is art concerned more with Self-expression than mere self-expression. But these paintings are not just illustrations for a spiritual philosophy, their provocative ambiguity gives the viewer plenty to do in terms of interpretation, and yet they can also be enjoyed simply for their radiant beauty.
Mills says: “When the word ‘God’ is used in the titles of my paintings it does not refer to the orthodox Christian notion of an external, all-powerful, judgmental being. It refers more to something beyond good and evil, something internal and external, both transcendent and imminent, something that American philosopher Ken Wilber describes, in his book ‘The Integral Vision’, as:
‘a ground of all being; a universal consciousness; a pure, infinite, transcendental, selfless Self; beyond any conceptualizations at all, but as simple and obvious as the person who is reading this…’”
Dutch/Italian artist Franco Angeloni’s art is full of curiosity and the wish to understand life and perfect it – life that is a mystery no one has a complete understanding of but marvelously unfolds itself in front of the eyes of the person who lives it every second. Everything that exists in nature can become a motive for Angeloni to speculate upon and to use as a means to shape his work and thus get a better insight into the world.
As a conceptual response to Mills’ ‘48 Portraits Of God’, Angeloni created ‘messages’ – some of which have been laser cut in metal plates, and ‘happenings’ that are curious and playful. Yet, these works ask several difficult questions about one’s perception and attitude toward living. One message says ‘Welcome to the 8th Floor’ despite the fact there is no 8th Floor in the building of The Art Center. With one special work entitled ‘Device To Enable Myopic People To Capture Mr/Mrs Ambition From A Closer Distance’, visitors are challenged to scrutinize the panoramic view from the balcony of The Art Center with binoculars to discover a neon work which is actually hidden in the cityscape. Anyone can participate of their own free will. Also, lying beneath his most recent work is the teachings of Indian philosopher J. Krishnamurti. In Angeloni’s works, the viewer will see the artist’s reflection on the master’s philosophy, which addresses all things humankind has been dealing with for thousands of years, from love and fear to desire and envy, from power-gaining to a true inner mind revolution, from spirituality to the disastrous consequences of human ambition.
Angeloni says: “I am not expecting anybody out there to make this world better for me, for us all. The revolution I am talking about is not that which occurs in the Houses of legislators or the Parliament, or in the streets by mass demonstrations, or during fights, wars, or in short, in the actions performed by humans in the outside world. Rather, the only revolution that I understand as potentially being able to create a truly radical change is the revolution inside: an inner reconsideration of the way one observes oneself and life and honestly sees the rotten and corrupting forces in it. Hence, the birth of a sincere and inevitable process of wanting to change it.”
All Videos of “A Brief View Of Everything”
Thursday November 11, 2010, 6.00pm - 8.30pm
Educational Program for “A Brief View Of Everything”
1- ‘Integral Art Beyond Post-Modernism’ [Justin Mills]
2- ‘The risks of and damages caused by idealizing, intellectualizing, romanticizing art(life) and the artist as a potential or wanna-be genius.
‘Self-Actualization‘ as a driving force towards the end of conflicts….And other
fragmented topics.’ [Franco Angeloni]
Artists talk and slide presentation by Justin Mills and Franco Angeloni, showing the development of their work and ideas