Hilary White "The End of a Thousand Years" 2014
Apologies for being behind the eight ball on this one, as it's closing this weekend, but I only just found out about it myself. Hilary White's show SEER is up now at Philly's Space 1026 and I so wish I could have seen it. I was honored to have one of White's cosmic hanging altars in my show, Sigils & Signs, a couple years back, and I'm always excited to see what she comes up with next. Unsuprisingly, this new work of hers is even more psychedelic and sophisticated than ever:
EXHIBITION: JULY 4TH – JULY 26TH
OPENING RECEPTION: FRIDAY, JULY 11TH
A dazzling fog surrounds us.
This vaporous presence in constant flux is made of particles, waves, disturbances, all of which are very real, all of which make up reality itself. We have faith in them some of which have never been seen but only determined by mathematical principal. Still whether we acknowledge them or not they continue in their purpose, and we experience their effects.
This may sound mystical, an army of ghosts at work in the universe but instead we find out these are the basic principals of the different scientific fields: Physics: atoms, quarks, virtual particles, particle wave duality, electromagnetics, sound waves, entropy, time itself. Biology: DNA, RNA, cells, nucleotides, mitochondria. Astronomy: dark matter, black holes, carbon stars…The list is ample and discoveries continue to unfold at an accelerating rate. On the quantum level these are able to be witnessed factors that interact in accordance with their principals to produce a much larger plane of existence containing human life, animal life, plant life, planets, stars, and entire galaxies. To the untrained eye, to those unfamiliar with such microcosms, one could still believe in the effects caused on a macro level. For example we live in an atmosphere that allows life, breath, the rotation of earth to create days… So here we are with this ability to not know the cause of something yet have faith in its effects.
This brings me to the question of faith. What is it? What is this belief we put into practice? I need a starting point. I begin with my own faith. Hebrews 1:11 “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Whoa. Wait a minute. Really? A switch to Theology? (deep sigh) Now for some this is the point of departure. The mention of God, Faith, and more specifically a Christian faith does not appeal to all. I take this into consideration. This is my catalyst for beginning a deeper investigation of faith and what it may be. I understand there are many different beliefs and belief systems, but I will use this particular example to begin an investigation into the reading, allowing the question at hand to be looked at critically for the moment.
First back to the question itself: What is faith? “Faith is the substance of things hoped for…” What does this mean? The substance of things hoped for, or maybe we can say the existence of what the heart can long for. I can not long for things I do not know exist. I desire only what can be created or what has been created. A person can live in a cave never experience affection or friendship their entire lives, and they still long for love, they long for relationship. A person can be bed ridden, sick their entire lives, cut off from the outside world and still long for health without ever experiencing it. Now to consider longing for something that does not exist in this experiment does not seem like a plausible hypothesis. We may long for fantastical things but still they can be traced to a deeper longing for something greater than ourselves and this existence. Maybe that points to an eternal plane or “heaven” …Maybe…for now I don’t long for a fohcodikyte because I have either not come to the knowledge of it and how it applies to a desire I may experience, or it does not exist. Again “faith is the evidence of things hoped for…” or in other terms, faith is the substance of what exists that in return a person can long for / desire.
And now the second part “…the evidence of things not seen” the evidence of what is desired manifests in action. A person is hungry and longs for food so they plant seeds and water it, cultivating the earth around it, harvest it. A person longs for love, so they look for it in a partner, they try to manifest it by showing love to others. A person longs for health so they take steps to achieve better habits and attempt to make choices that lead to that effect. People long for a communal existence so they gather, build communities, make towns, plan cities. In short the actions caused by these desires are the effects of the actual “thing” desired being lived out in a real and effectual way. So to bring it full circle…or attempt to… faith then is the actualization of the thing we long for effecting the way we live, here and now.
The question of faith then is seemingly a question of great magnitude. It effects us all.
The greatness faith poses is in the vast plane of possibility, of life generating and being explored, even on this once seemingly volatile terrain between Science and God, the known and the unknown being bridged. Now if I even dare to consider moving forward in this thought, I may become a stranger to comfort, I may have to do away with the addiction of control, I may have to shatter my illusion of what I think reality looks like, what “success” looks like. It is here in the ruins of this pursuit I find truth… a chance to see something new. A glimpse at the fallibility of my own efforts, the disfiguring deception of my dark vanity, my shallow motives, and then beyond to something more… forgiveness, hope, love, people, communities, the world , the universe, all unfolding infinitely each layer more brilliant and complex. A living, growing fractal blossoming into an infinite garden…
…Then I let the moment pass…
I find myself seemingly lost in a jungle of cultural moods, fads. I get stuck in the argument, it’s beauty is taken out of context, manipulated, institutionalized, homogenized until all the wonder of it’s previous stature is twisted and lost in the murky waters of “common-sense”, but even here in my own wrestling, and doubt there is hope. Faith at work. What may be proposed as rationality to some would be considered irrational without belief in the system it evokes. So again, moving forward, let us all take into consideration what our beliefs are hinged on. It will determine how we live, how we think, how we speak, how we see…
The dazzling is all around us. It is waiting to be discovered, waiting to be seen.
SEER is an exhibition of suspended disbelief. A moment to imagine the possible impossible, the eternal. An exploration of wonder, using examples from scientific theory and it’s discoveries, in correlation with Biblical texts, it’s symbolism, and its practice.
“The ghostly presence of virtual particles defies rational common sense and is non intuitive for those unacquainted with physics. Religious belief in God, and Christian belief that God became Man, may seem strange to common-sense thinking. But when the most elementary physical things behave in this way, we should be prepared to accept that the deepest aspects of our existence go beyond our common-sense intuitions.”
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Hilary White was raised in Gainesville, Florida, and began studying painting at the University of Florida on an athletic scholarship early in her career. Received a portfolio scholarship to attend the Savannah College of Art and Design and graduated Magna Cum Laude of the painting department. Her recent series The Endless One was featured on international art websites Juxtapoz and High Fructose. She was recently in the December Select Fair represented through Paradigm Gallery, and has been in over 36 exhibitions including nine solo exhibitions and has shown her work locally and internationally in Berlin, and Hong Kong.