An installation at the Ministry of Casual Living, Victoria, BC
Dynamis, is a Greek word meaning ‘with power’. In modern usage, the word dynamic, as opposed to static, implies moving, growing, changing. This piece gathers beeswax candles melted into thick disks that appear static, but in actuality are quite dynamic (quantum physics would agree). Despite their perceived immobility and stillness, this wax, conceived in light of its larger lifespan, is in transition (a process of waxing and waning, or melting, if you will).
These disks will continue to be purified from the sand and old wicks, and eventually re–cast as ‘new’ candles to be lit again and placed in bowls or wheels of sand by many different hands for many different reasons. Every end is present in its beginning. This cyclical pattern culminates, perhaps, during liturgical prayers which involve the call/response utterance of “dynamis!”, an almost untranslatable term which acknowledges both the collective freedom and aesthetic affect of seeking to describe the invisible.
The video was filmed at Ekatontapyliani, a Byzantine Orthodox church on the island of Paros, in Greece. What is being shown here is a prayer wheel. As people enter the church, candles are lit from other, already lit candles, and are placed alongside them in the sand. To make room for more candles, someone is given the responsibility of harvesting the previously lit candles. The video is shown in reverse as an abstraction of the spreading of light in a removal of time. For if time conditions space, matter is always moving and we are known by our change.
Now, life is an evolution. We concentrate a period of this evolution in a stable view which we call a form, and, when the change has become considerable enough to overcome the fortunate inertia of our perception, we say that the body has changed its form. But in reality the body is changing form at every moment; or rather, there is no form, since form is immobile and the reality is movement. What is real is the continual change of form: form is only a snapshot view of a transition. Therefore, here again, our perception manages to solidify into discontinuous images the fluid continuity of the real.
–Henri Bergson, Creative Evolution