#10 Heart Sound - Da Vinci Simulacrum
Light box - perspex, LED light
“It is not intuitive why all this is intuitive.”
― Umberto Eco, Semiotics and the Philosophy of Language
Considering the project as an archaeology of decentralized “collective unconscious”, the artist recombines pre-existing symbols under a formal system having iconic works by Leonardo Da Vinci as a foundation.
Presented as a lightboxes’ installation, Margarida Sardinha describes a subconscious allegory incidental to Leonardo's work searching for contemporary artistic, religious, political, scientific and cultural ideas. Insofar as these “symbolic studies”, or “symbolic-continuum”, have multiple personal interpretations, with a range of meanings across feelings, languages, ideas, and connotations to each observer, so does each lightbox refers to an “opening” within a finite combinatorial system.
An equitable gnostic vision shared by the Renaissance artist, which evolves based on perception and repetition of symbolic permutations innate in everyone. At a cognitive level, this analysis of repetitive differentiation, contributes to the development of scientific and technological understanding. Inasmuch as the mathematical and geometric analysis of self-referential or recursive forms underlying these symbols, are study subjects in physics’ theories and computational systems. An approach, for instance, shared by Leibniz when relating Yin Yang combinations to the basis of the binary code system.
Rendered as open modules under study, Da Vinci Simulacrum’s symbols, relate to a formal structure defusing binary epiphenomena such as, rational vs irrational, or consciousness vs subconscious. An iterative numerical structure formulated by Margarida and understood as a combinatorial field of phenomenological possibilities.
This formal numerical proposal may be combined randomly, or not, as an incidental method for every observer in manifold dimensions. It thus replicates its own connotation metamorphosing into a vast range of feelings akin to a dynamic system where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
"The project’s starting points are some of the most iconic paintings and drawings by Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) – The Last Supper, Mona Lisa, Saint John the Baptist, Virgin of the Rocks, among other lesser-known works –, from where the artist deconstructs geometric propositions existing in a collective unconscious. Using a scientific, artistic, and religious methodology and through in-depth investigative knowledge in detailed symbology study, the presented works moreover, question our own way of grasping the world by analysing an innate internal structure. In this sense, immutable signs are understood in changing contexts, namely social, political, cultural or temporal, which go beyond the symbols fixed meanings. By dropping its signifying anchor, symbols reveal an incidental formalism, or a combinatorial chain of meanings, dependent on human sensibility translating into a set of ideas, emotions and languages common to all societies.
In an interview published in the exhibition catalogue, the artist clarifies:
“The interesting thing to realize when talking about symbols, archetypes or immutable signs, is that there is a structure behind every symbol that can be explored in different ways. A symbol may be political, religious, scientific or community based. Therefore, a common symbol may reflect different ways of thinking and represent different meanings in different cultures in different ways.”
- Exhibition introduction by Hugo Dinis, curator
Da Vinci Simulacrum by Margarida Sardinha, curated by Hugo Dinis for Museu Ibérico de Arqueologia e Arte de Abrantes (MIAA) from 23rd of April to 25th September 2022, is supported by the Portuguese Cultural Ministry fund Garantir Cultura, and Abrantes Municipality, Portugal, in partnership with Figueiredo Ribeiro Art Collection.
Documentation photography by João Bacelar