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X- RAY HEART SUTRA

 

cast 2005  –  unique lost wax bronze

2 halves 46x42x14 cm each

 

This is my ‘take’ on Constantin Brancusi’s ‘The Kiss’ of 1913.

Based on a 1940’s Zeiss binocular microscope it uses compressed human interior anatomy to suggest a deep wounding caused by excessive focus on analytical and reasoning skills. Reality cannot be broken down into cause and effect without coming up in the space between the division where language breaks down and the consensual determinants of meaning become our bodies and shared senses.

 

More like a ‘divorce’ it seeks to remind us of the vulnerability beneath any gut wrenching decision or bifurcating pathway – especially those that determine unrequited life. I chose the title because of a unit of ceramics I gave to my then students at Model Farms High School called ‘Cutaway Machines of the Suburban Dreaming’; where we looked at Arnhem land x-ray bark painting and contrasted it with works of Fiona Hall and other cut-away diagrams of appliances and space-ships from books.

 

The Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra is the most profound encapsulation of Buddhist awakening. In it we are guided through five ‘skandas’ usually translated as aggregates – as in gradually accumulating piles of  - body, sensation, perception, parsing, and so on to consciousness that is neither gained nor lost and that and is neither pure nor stained but allows the forgiveness of the 1001 things in the one or even the none:

Avalokiteshvara
while practicing deeply with
the Insight that Brings Us to the Other Shore,
suddenly discovered that
all of the five Skandhas are equally empty,
and with this realisation
he overcame all Ill-being.
“Listen Sariputra,
this Body itself is Emptiness
and Emptiness itself is this Body.
This Body is not other than Emptiness
and Emptiness is not other than this Body.
The same is true of Feelings,
Perceptions, Mental Formations,
and Consciousness.
“Listen Sariputra,
all phenomena bear the mark of Emptiness;
their true nature is the nature of
no Birth no Death,
no Being no Non-being,
no Defilement no Purity,
no Increasing no Decreasing.
“That is why in Emptiness,
Body, Feelings, Perceptions,
Mental Formations and Consciousness
are not separate self entities.
The Eighteen Realms of Phenomena
which are the six Sense Organs,
the six Sense Objects,
and the six Consciousnesses
are also not separate self entities.
The Twelve Links of Interdependent Arising
and their Extinction
are also not separate self entities.
Ill-being, the Causes of Ill-being,
the End of Ill-being, the Path,
insight and attainment,
are also not separate self entities.
Whoever can see this
no longer needs anything to attain.
Bodhisattvas who practice
the Insight that Brings Us to the Other Shore
see no more obstacles in their mind,
and because there
are no more obstacles in their mind,
they can overcome all fear,
destroy all wrong perceptions
and realize Perfect Nirvana.
“All Buddhas in the past, present and future
by practicing
the Insight that Brings Us to the Other Shore
are all capable of attaining
Authentic and Perfect Enlightenment.
“Therefore Sariputra,
it should be known that
the Insight that Brings Us to the Other Shore
is a Great Mantra,
the most illuminating mantra,
the highest mantra,
a mantra beyond compare,
the True Wisdom that has the power
to put an end to all kinds of suffering.
Therefore let us proclaim
a mantra to praise
the Insight that Brings Us to the Other Shore.
Gate, Gate, Paragate, Parasamgate, Bodhi Svaha!
Gate, Gate, Paragate, Parasamgate, Bodhi Svaha!
Gate, Gate, Paragate, Parasamgate, Bodhi Svaha!”
— New Heart Sutra translation by Thich Nhat Hanh

 

AUD $75 000 (Sutra is free)