This project is a take on the legend of Parsifal: the convoluted search for ones inner self and the correct adjustment. The initial provocation was about two castle ruins, that as local legend would have it, were connected by an underground tunnel. For me what was outspoken among the local population regarding this legend, contained both a reality and a corruption. I wanted to bring something into being, that would put this corruption and also a wistful inner longing for what once was, into a new balance a new reality.
The Project starts with the central Sculpture Synapsenschädel/ ‚Synapse-Skull- station of all thoughts decayed’ 2016-2019, made of storm-detritus, fiberglass, plywood, silicon, and carbon-fiber hockey sticks. People may enter and stand under the dome of this weird organic monster-skull, pick up and try to browse through decaying books of long forgotten authors, in old typeface, and tomes of Natural Science long outdated. Rarely do observers try this, as the books are warped and deformed with water, mould and tree fungus There are two windows or portals: one looking towards the ‚Schloss' ruin the other towards the 'Burg' ruin. This then, is the set up of the Axis of Determination.
This work is unashamedly desolate and dead. Lifeless, grey, and barren, the sculpture will continue to rot and decay. From my early studies of Biology i have been fascinated by microbiology and the macromolecular; Nerve Synapses have taken form in my mind as the ideal form of interactions and interrelationships. The Synapse-skull has both a dead central form and 2 silicon connecting gateways/ portals through which can be imagined if you like, the two central axions linking up the 'living' sculptures: The Arch of Fecundity/ Tor der Fülle 2019 and to the Hunting Duck hide/ Jägerstand Feminine 2020. For me there is no question that Synapsenschädel is essentially 'still', but it does drive one to seek/ create connection outside; there is something that forces one back on ones self and away from the object. So this was a dominant thought when to my surprise and subsequent delight i met with a great deal of resistance to the Project. "Verboten" was any access to the fortress ruin on the hill which in turn lead me to an indirect axis, and a pole that directed one away from the Castle/fortress. In both axial 'end-stations', the question can be asked, on arrival and experiencing, "where to now?". The arch of Fecundity looks out onto an idyllic setting of a herb garden and park with a beautiful Schloss/ Chateau in the background ( now a preparation school for young women in the home and land cultivation sector). Indeed, one can imagine the young maidens dressed in their 'Tracht' carefully cultivating their 'heilkrauter' during their garden lessons. Ok, but like any fairytale, the path goes much further. In the other direction, after a good while we come to the Duck hide/ Hunting stand. Here one experiences a rather beautiful innerspace full of colour and finery, organic, with perhaps a hint of Womb and Hymen; the latter a wet looking silicon curtain which when parted, offers a view away from the axis to a wooded hillside! If one accepts the premise of an Axis of determination, then what can this mean? At any rate,we are not going to find the Grail castle on this route!
To return to the microbiological: After having made the Jägerstand Feminine, I had toyed with the idea of a broken battle shield, in pieces, lying at the foot of the Hide. Having experienced the Hymen duck-beak Portal as an 'End-view', and the question that arose, "where to now?", the shield looked more likely to me to be a false start, and i thought, looking at the assembled bows of larch before me, first of a leaf which stomata-synapsen entry ports, and in starting in this direction it became very quickly a boat, a leaf boat, where the journey would now go over into the soul world, through and out along new Synapses and Ganglions and across the Styx (?).
Mark Rossell 2020