The Lemniscate: a curve to be free

Lemniscate
Lemniscate

“If you desire something, you must stop searching for it…” I quote a Zen maxim from memory, but there are many other treasures in the world of Zen. Zen and art have much in common, first and foremost perhaps in seeing the human being as a process in becoming, then they share the need to use few words and sometimes none at all…

Metamorphosis, change, impermanence, are just some of the concepts that permeate art and Zen. I have noticed around me a common and dangerous concept, which sounds something like this: “either this or that.” When one enters into opposition, believing that there is an irreconcilability of opposites, life, the flow of energy, creativity, everything comes to a halt. A paralyzing cold sets in and the creative process is sterilized, nothing is fertile in the barren world of Either/Or (either this or that = Either/Or). We grow up in a system that pushes heavily in this direction, it seems indeed of vital importance to have to choose in order to “know how to be” to have a personality, and finally the mechanism concludes with stubbornly feeding that piece of the Whole that one has chosen to represent oneself. We’ve all been there. In adolescence it is necessary to define oneself, to detach, to recognize oneself, with opposition, but then? Then we become what we verbally say we are, often imprisoned in the poor lexicon we have chosen with too much modesty or stinginess, confined in corridors, on small landings, without exploring the entire building, the neighborhood, the territory. According to Himalayan Zen Buddhism, the deep peace of Nirvana leads to having no preferences, and along the way one learns that everything is relative. How can we deeply metabolize the possibility of reconciling any pair of opposites? Each of us lives polar situations, just think of nature, day and night, feminine and masculine, joy and pain, hot and cold, sympathy and antipathy, in short, whatever comes to mind. But what happens if, instead of using the scalpel of choice, we try to put together a pair of opposites? Is it possible? Mathematics comes to our aid, Bernoulli’s lemniscate is an algebraic curve in the shape of an eight, it was treated by Bernoulli, but Cassini dealt with it first. The eight represents the possibility of uniting two polarities, between which a vital current flows.

The lemniscate is at the base of life and it is found in various points of the human body, in the plant world, and in the animal world, just look for it. To metabolize this possibility and make it one’s own in life, thus managing to reconcile polarities without amputating various parts, but on the contrary, using the existing vital current between the poles, one can have an experience. In the artistic field, experimenting with the construction of the lemniscate, both in drawing shapes and in modeling, we experience this reality: it is possible, we see that it exists. Instead of expressions like either this or that, Either/Or is replaced by and this and that, Both/And. Thus, a door opens through which infinity enters, with infinite possibilities. What will happen is all to be discovered, finally we find the mystery that we are, there are those who enter cautiously, those who look with amazement, those who soar abandoning themselves, those who cry, those who dive laughing… to each their own way, they are all perfect… to each their own curve, they are all unique, in becoming, perfectly imperfect…

manuelametra
manuelametra

Hi, I’m Manuela, urban potter and Italian artist who’s passionate about exploring the expressive potential of clay. With a love for Wabi Sabi aesthetics and the beauty of imperfection, I create bespoke ceramics, paintings, and fine art photography. My studio, nestled in the charming city of Milan, is a magical box where creativity runs wild and beauty is abundant. Whether you’re looking to bring a touch of magic into your everyday life, or simply to explore your creative side through art therapy I’m here to inspire and encourage you on your journey. I bring art into the world and celebrate the beauty in every moment. This blog is my Artistic Salad, filled with creativity, beauty, joie de vivre, passion and tools for creative minds.

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