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Interview: Mya Lurgo and objective art

ninterview by Yog – Your own guide:

Along this interview with artist Mya Lurgo we will try to make some reflections on the way contemporary art is conceived with the purpose of introducing a topic: that of objective art.
The term objective art refers to a form of art capable of having an effect on the viewer that is independent of his or her subjectivity, psychology or culture of origin (an objective effect indeed).
Through the account of the performance Sensible is the Clear Light, how it came into being, how it was organized and what measurable results it produced, we can attempt to trace, stage by stage, the creation of a moment of objective art.
The intent is to leave open many questions, including the main ones; is it possible to create a work-perhaps abstract-with a clear and unambiguous message? Or again, can a vision free from all our conditioning be realized?

Objective art: how did the encounter with this practice come about?
My artistic research has for years ranged between spiritual themes and esoteric texts, so to speak, although nowadays there is very little occult material left for those who investigate as much as I do. Among my many readings I had the opportunity to delve into the Georges Ivanovič Gurdjieff teachings on objective art and was fascinated.

I had almost become attached to the idea that beauty was in the eye of the beholder … but then I understood, thanks to his words, that the viewer’s gaze – under certain conditions – can be guided toward a new perception, neutral to say the least and untethered from one’s own experience, from optical delirium and the yoke of attraction, repulsion and indifference. This means, in effect, establishing real communication with the viewer of the work and not just an open dialogue, in which each person interprets and experiences what he or she can. Artistic intent, with objective art, arrives at its destination, passes through the work, is charged with meaning, lands without any deviation whatsoever in the viewer, and only in rare cases does insensitivity prevail, which is why it can be considered a certainty for all intents and purposes. I quote an excerpt from the text Fragments of an Unknown Teaching, written by Petr D. Uspensky, a pupil of Gurdjieff to present the idea: “The difference between objective art and subjective art, consists in the fact that in the first case the artist actually creates, does what he intends to do, introduces into his work the ideas and feelings he wants. And the action of his work on people is absolutely precise; they will receive, of course each according to his own level, the same ideas

When it comes to objective art, there can be nothing accidental, neither in the creation of the work itself, nor in the impressions it elicits.”

How did you come to devise the performance Sensible is the Clear Light held at the Elisarion Cultural Center and Museum?
I got there with hours of practice over a period of three years, learning to focus on the intent to keep it vital, not giving in to extraneous thoughts in order to avoid losing the primary feeling to be objectively conveyed to the audience; adapting the breath, relaxing the body in the creative gesture and indulging the inner voice to concretize the information.
Objective art is a process, in which the artist acquires the art of becoming totally present to himself, and then accompanies the audience in a dynamic – acentric practice for hyper lucid observation – apt to confer purity, of seeing, rather than the gaze contaminated by antecedent memories. This was my approach, but no less worthwhile was the comparison and synergy with two other performers: Giovanna Galimberti for movement – Fluctuating Configuration – and Nadia Radici: In-Canto. Our trilogy allowed the opening of a gap between fallacious semblances-subjective interpretations-so that the uncorrupted perception or “clear light” could be realized in

viewers, if only for a few moments or more poetically, as a thunderbolt.
Eckhart Tolle’s words impeccably render this idea: “Your satori lasted perhaps a few seconds before the return to the mind, but it was there otherwise you would not have perceived beauty. The mind can neither recognize nor recreate beauty. Only for a few seconds, while you were fully present, was there that beauty or satori. Because of the narrowness of the interval and a lack of vigilance and alertness on your part, you were probably unable to see the fundamental difference between perceiving, being aware of beauty in the absence of thought and naming and interpreting it as thought: the time interval was so small that everything seemed to be one process. The truth lies in the fact, however, that the moment thought reappeared all you had was a memory of that perception.”

Can you tell us what happens during the performance?

At the Elisarion Cultural Center and Museum, the audience was welcomed into an antechamber, where there were works, drawings and a video aimed at questioning the validity of their own perceiving; here, the reading of the excerpt from the text Fragments of an Unknown Teaching, mentioned earlier, as well as the announcement of an experiment in progress, made the audience an integral part of the performance. One by one, the audience members were subsequently ushered into the main museum hall to take their seats. The performance began with the lights off. The light art work Living Fulcrum is lit live by me. Viewers have a few moments to devote to the painting and the light vertical, as my voice urges them to close their eyes and allow themselves to be guided into a dynamic, which will allow them to see hyper lucidly, bypassing the comfort zone of their pre-established seeing.
I have fine-tuned this technique several times with various attempts, to offer an easy modus operandi, repeatable over time and in any context where it is necessary to be objective and objective; one hand on the belly and the other on the heart is sufficient, after which one inhales with open eyes and full lungs, bringing the outer vision of the work within. Exhaling, slowly and with eyes closed, one figures to touch the work with

sculpture. This cycle of inhaling and exhaling without pause – circular breathing – happens vigorously for seven times. After seven repetitions, one is in a state of stillness before the work, time seems to stop and inner silence becomes a welcoming space. In this privileged habitat, it is possible to see rather than interpret, and the artist’s intent reaches the viewer without any more filters. Try it! The first time you will be amazed at how it is possible to “muffle” the senses, with practice instead you will appreciate the opportunity to “receive” art as it is intended.

The performance continued with a question repeated three times, followed by the test: people in the room were invited to view on a special questionnaire their feelings, based on the repertoire of primary and secondary emotions summarized by psychology as: fear, anger, sadness, joy-happiness, disgust-disgust, surprise, admiration, adoration, aesthetic appreciation, amusement, anxiety, awe, embarrassment, boredom, calmness, confusion, burning desire, empathic pain, ecstasy, excitement, horror, interest, nostalgia, relief, romantic love, satisfaction, sexual desire. At discretion, everyone could add extra personal observations. Having finished this task, I stated the intent put into the Living Fulcrum work during the thirty-

respecting anonymity. Result: the vast majority experienced the same feeling that accompanied me during the creative phase. The emotional objectivity of the group was achieved and my role ended.

Living Fulcrum becomes the setting for Giovanna’s intervention: a curated, careful, selective and vibrant movement on the spontaneous intonations of Nadia, a sublime voice that touches the heartstrings taking the audience beyond the pathos of the test. The data collected in the catalog lends itself to satisfy the curiosity of the public as well as insiders.

Let’s talk about Living Fulcrum, the focal point of the performance, a 3-meter diameter canvas executed at the event site. Would you like to reveal some information about the work and your modus operandi?
I created the work by stabilizing a specific intent within myself, and I kept true to that intent for thirty-three hours, divided into three days preceding the seven performances presented. The will inoculated into the work is this: “I wish to delve into Living Fulcrum-the creative process of existence-at the point or vortex, where the idea becomes form, where the cell becomes heartbeat, where the probability-wave collapses into particle, where life is always and only life, without opposites.”
At first I felt a strong giddiness, an astonishment, an exaltation that I might call joy, and then I was entirely enveloped by a deep sense of inner peace and relief. However, having to point to one emotion among those listed in the questionnaire and recognized by contemporary psychology, calmness is what I experienced most during the hours of painting; calmness is therefore the emotion that objectively, the audience of Living Fulcrum should receive while observing the work.

This performance is in fact an experiment that produced measurable results on the audience present during the three days at the Elisarion Cultural Center and Museum. Would you like to tell us about the data collected on this first sample and the difficulties encountered?
The graph captures the emotional experiences of all participants and confirms the feasibility of objective art. This fact, if thought broadly, can open up unexplored scenarios: a work, which arouses a precise emotion in a group, generates a kind of atmosphere that in itself is not “air,” is not “nothing,” is not just “thought,” is a creative emanation, and the uses could be multiple, accepting dulcis in fundo, that art also has a motive and efficacy beyond aesthetics.
The dark side of the test corresponds to the “words to say it,” that is, the choice of vocabulary to label one’s emotional state, since subjective linguistic boundaries set the limits of the world, as Wittgenstein teaches.
It must be said, that selecting in oneself, quickly, an appropriate emotion on a questionnaire is certainly not easy, just as knowing how to listen to oneself inwardly, accurately identifying a prevailing emotion over other underlying feelings, in short, is not for everyone.

For you, the intent of the work is a central element in your works. Is it bold to say that there is a constant iconographic and symbolic research in your works, an attention to what images can convey, not only on a visual level – the classic “I like it” or “I don’t like it” – but also on an unconscious level?
It’s not far-fetched.
I feel a deep responsibility in the creative act, and Henry Miller’s words have been resonating within me for years: “Art teaches nothing except the meaning of life.”
This means, I do not wish to pour my “monsters” into the work and then share or amplify them with the elective affinities of the audience.

When an ill creation comes to light, I burn, because in fire I recognize the power of purification and transmutation. The four stages of a-centr-ism (for more info we recommend you read the e-book) are a practice of mine to estrange the ego/egoism/egotism of the creation artist, a kind of methodical distancing, to allow for “universa(ti)le” expressiveness.
For years I have been searching for technological means to identify the intrinsic value of a work, far beyond the I like it I don’t like it, it has economic value or not… in fact, I am interested in knowing whether the work in question, does good or whether it produces discomfort; what I am interested in is to measure the work-user impregnation, but for now I have only “unofficial” data and estimates, or rather, not yet recognized by mainstream science.
Let me give an example: I would say that no one has to disquisition on the quality of Munch’s Scream, but what effect would the image of that very powerful silent cry have on us if we had the privilege of having the work in our bedroom day in and day out? I don’t know about you, but I wonder and ask myself the same question at the end of each of my works, which is why I have come to the conclusion to make only art for the spirit and of the spirit or nothing.

Had the experiment been done before? Would you like to tell us about it?
The experiment at the Elisarion is a first, but it did not come about by chance, it is a continuation of an earlier project entitled The persistent inForms determines form presented in the summer of 2019 at the Lac o Le Mon Foundation, in Puglia, in the artist residency where cycles were held on the theme Aesthetics of the Imperceptible curated by artist Emilio Fantin.
On that occasion I proposed an experiment to the participants: I put white sheets and colors on a table; in the center a painting of mine, covered. I asked each person present for their willingness to do a meditation I designed to amplify the receptivity of the heart field, as if it were a white screen. I read aloud the title and intent of the work, after which I asked them to mark on the paper the first images that appeared to their mind’s eye.
Result: the set of those impressions, stylized, reproduced in broad strokes the work they had never glimpsed. Each participant, in fact, caught “something.” The experiment was repeated after a few months elsewhere and the result confirmed. In summary, the field of the heart combined with the mind can predict; succeeding is just a matter of training. Is this art? Of the spirit for sure.

Will the project be presented in other venues? If yes, we gladly await updates so that we can invite our readers to participate!

Absolutely, but in order to avoid planning and cancelling as has already happened, we are waiting to understand the “stability” of the Covid provisions… In the meantime, I invite you to a viewing of the catalog.

Maria Grazia Lurgo, aka Mya Lurgo, was born in Bordighera (IM, Italy) on May 30, 1971, and has been working in Switzerland for more than 20 years. Artistic expression has been a path of research and discovery since childhood. The course of study is not academic. The artist’s primary interest is the study of esoteric texts and the translation of their contents into works. Such research was born inspired by Yves Klein’s Immaterial and the Rosicrucian Order, and later articulated into its own essential vision called acentrism. Acentrism and the consequent acentric art propose the reduction to the minimum terms of the egocentric, selfish, egotistical component of existence and the related set of acquired conditionings, in order to be able to develop a mental and emotional habitat that is increasingly neutral and free of centralizing “isms,” in order to allow the transmission of the spiritual in art: the signifying ideal for Mya Lurgo’s artistic expression.


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