Oculus hall

Updated: Apr 15, 2021

One year now, since the Corona cultists closed down the museums and exhibition spaces. They where briefly accessible during the summer on condition that visitors complied to the hand washing ritual, with mandatory routing and time slots, but within a few months the second lockdown kicked in and ended the feast again.

It might have been my longing for our sealed off heritage that inspired me to make this vitrine. No need to explain the deep satisfaction when I could hang El Greco's ‘Christ Carrying the Cross’ as central piece in the Oculus hall of this tiny museum. Let us read Matthew 27:29 "And after twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and a reed in His right hand; and they knelt down before Him and mocked Him". I clearly remember how I watched the tiny streams of blood, running over Jesus pale face. The st. Peters Church in my city of birth Leiden, had a series of huge paintings of the 14 Stations of the Cross on permanent display. We as children adored them, shivering and in awe. Catholics love a touch of horror and the unknown painter did an excellent job depicting the upwelling blood from the tormented body.

Dear reader may I ask you in all honesty, what better place for the hand than the Oculus hall in this miniature museum? My giant hand could seek a dialogue with the masters of fine art. The tactile and the visual, a celebration of the physical realm contrasted by the ongoing digitalization, it all tied in to my new machine or mechanical toy in the making. We see how amidst a dark tempestuous sky El Greco's Christ stands garbed in blue and red. Broken thorny twigs twisted into a crown piercing his delicate skin, embracing the cross in serene submission. The most alluring aspect of the central painting is the execution of the eyes. Looking upwards from a low viewpoint transfixed on the heavenly light pouring down into the museum.

to be continued...