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Artists: Job Koelewijn, Kathy O’ Leary, Isolde Carmondy, Lisa Vandergrift Davala, Séamus Dunbar, Tina Pommer

Title of Exhibition: Spinoza Mondial Live Reading Project.

Date: March 11th, 2011

Exhibition Images:

About the Exhibition: The basic idea for the work is to create a monument for Baruch Spinoza, the Dutch philosopher (1632-1677) who ranked as a major thinker in the rationalist tradition. His Ethics is a classic of Western philosophy. In his writings the crucial issues of metaphysics are exemplified. The project involves the performance of an audio book of Spinozas work, ‘The Ethics’ in geometrical order whereby the text is read out loud and shared with people from all over the world. So far the project has traveled to 11 countries and the last location was Mexico City. By choosing different countries to have the text read, it allows different dialects to add to the context of the work.

The Ethics is divided into five parts: Part I. "Concerning God;" Part II. "Of the Nature and Origin of the Mind;" Part III. "Of the Origin and Nature of the Emotions;" Part IV. "Of Human Bondage, or Of the Strength of the Emotions;" Part V. "Of the Power of the Intellect, or Of Human Liberty." Each of the five parts of ‘The Ethics’ consists of several definitions and axioms, followed by a series of propositions and corollaries. The text relates to emotions including desire, pleasure, pain, love, hatred, hope, fear, despair, joy, disappointment, humility, pride, anger, shame, cruelty, and benevolence.

The project was concieved by Dutch Artist Job Koelewijn and presented in collaboration with Kathy O’Leary and participating artists:

Isolde Carmody; Creative writer, Drama facilitator, Philosopher

Lisa Vandergrift Davala; Filmmaker, Visual Artist

Séamus Dunbar; Sculptor, Visual Artist

Tina Pommer; Creative writer, Dancer.

The performance is directed by Kathy O’ Leary, in collaboration with Job Koelewijn. The initial invite to Visual Artist Kathy O’ Leary was through Ciaran Bennett, Writer, Curator and President of AICA Ireland.

The text ‘Part 1, Concerning God’ will be projected on a wall, accompanied by a geometrical sculpture ‘Platonic solids’ by sculptor Séamus Dunbar.

Seamus’s sculpture represents the relationship between the 5 “Platonic Solids”. Beyond their mathematical and geometrical fascination, these shapes have a long association with philosophical and symbolic meaning.

Traditional philosophy associates the Cube with earth, the Tetrahedron with fire, the Octahedron with air, and the Icosahedron with water. Plato mentions “a certain fifth composition” used by the creator in the making of the universe. Thus the Dodecahedron came to be associated with the fifth element, aether, and represents the female, regenerative principle. The Icosahedron is associated with the element of water, and the male progenerative principle, which works with the Dodecahedron to generate order and life from the chaotic material of the universe.

The Astronomer and Mathematician Johannes Kepler, working in the early 17th Century, was convinced for many years that they held the key to the workings of the Solar System, until his research revealed the true elliptical nature of the orbits of the planets, and he was forced to abandon his paradigm. Knowledge of the forms stretches back through Pythagoras and Plato, and even as far as the Neolithic era. The physics of subatomic particles and string theory is once again revealing the proportions governing the construction of the Platonic Solids to be at the core of the building blocks of matter. – Seamus Dunbar