It is a peculiar thing, that in this age of intellect and discovery, our understanding of the cosmos is best described by two theories seemingly incapable of blissful union. It appears our knowledge of the universe exists as a man balancing between a boat and bank, stretched to full stride and with dark waters beneath. Such is life in theoretical physics and in general.
In Masks by Alexis Vasilikos, there is evidence of fundamental forces at work and they are beautifully captured in sharp contrast and lucid tonality. The very collisions of strong and weak interactions are described in frames, each a moment unto itself yet each moment aligned to a single trajectory. This chain of events is finite in presentation but equally infinite in possibility and so as ever, there lies a flat case of certainty underlined by a slight of secrecy.
There are always times of unknowing as there can never be an ‘all-known’ state, or indeed if there were then surely that would mark the end of all Time itself. And in an attempt to somehow visualize that paradox one may need to do more than simply illustrate; one would almost certainly need to understand and depend upon concealment. Thus the ‘masking’ of one force by another, in order for both to co-exist becomes an axiomatic truth.
What start out as functional objects, or structural components to a greater whole not yet defined, are catalogued by the artist. They are given time to settle and their reason disclosed. The images that would be, become the images that are, and so become their own authentic reality. There are intersecting lines and as one would predict, corresponding bursts of light. Some fall in large waves that barely register while others in shorter gradients. Others still erupt with blinding white seemingly eradicating all previous information and leaving little but reverberations in the ether. Shafts of solid form in one frame are contrasted with billows of formless clouds, resulting in images that converse with both the very nature of photography as a physical science and photography as a means to communicate the metaphysical.
A visual comparison of Vasilikos’ Masks to electron magnification imagery could be rightly made, yet accordingly a comparison to data from the Cassini–Huygens spacecraft would be just as valid. Despite the prerequisite need for an objective reality – itself undefined in the majority – it seems there is no short answer to the manifestation displayed here, as each moment of truth points to a future unknown. What little information we have and can conceive of remains to be interpreted by what we have only known thus far.
All images ©Alexis Vasilikos