: Candescere

Candescere was a sculpture built specifically for Luminaria 2013. Luminaria is a one night, multi-discipline art event that takes place annually in San Antonio, Texas.  The 2013 location was at Hemisfair Park, the site of the 1968 World's Fair. Candescere, along with two pieces from my Illuminatore Series, were located in the Instituto Cultural de México from the night of the event, March 9, to April 7, 2013.


Artist Statement.

     With Candescere, I invite the viewer to confront the mysterious.  Its pyramidal shape, the simplest three-dimensional form, is a look back at some of the earliest monumental structures, ancient megalithic forms that engaged the scholarship and imagination of generations who were convinced that the pyramids of ancient cultures were repositories of lost secrets of immense value. The inner pyramids are representative of these secrets—the viewer is disallowed access to and knowledge of the inner components, but a glowing light indicates that the center of the pyramid still bears some esoteric contents.  The motif of mystery is hopefully strengthened by the inclusion of brightly colored glyphs.  These asemic emblems are marked by saturated colors and limitations on formatting, meant to be both ornamental and also to imply the substantive meaning characteristic of an evolved language.  The most striking element, however, is likely to be the illuminated electroluminescent wire.  If the use of indecipherable language and pyramidal forms was meant to reference the enigmas of the past, EL wire is meant to conjure the inscrutability of modern technology, reminding the viewer of the fact that the world is which we currently live is populated by devices and mechanisms whose functional nature is often hidden from us.

     Invoking mystery requires not only that the viewer have seemingly valuable information withheld from them, but also a curiosity that would drive him or her to seek answers.  In fact, it seems to me that the nature of “mystery” requires that the audience not only seeks answers, but also provide their own questions.  As an artist, foisting specific questions on the audience would be clumsy way to involve them in the work. I can only hope that the choice of form, arrangement, and materials by themselves is enough to intrigue the viewer. The difficulty of this goal is exacerbated by the constant stream of information available to citizens of the Twenty-First Century, a difficulty that further convinces me that it is important that we continue to cultivate an approach to the world that begs an exploration of the foreign and unknown.

Jonathan Sims. Spring 2013.