LOOKING BEYOND THE MIRROR
FORT WAYNE MUSEUM of ART NOV 11 2017 – FEB 18 2018
Steinway pianist, composer and pianist for peace LOOKING BEYOND THE MIRROR IMPROVISATIONS ON 7 BODIES and PERCEPTION recorded live at the Fort Wayne Museum of Art 11-10-2017
IN COLLABORATION WITH
FOREWORD This is the Museum’s second solo exhibition of Peter Bremers’ stunning work in less than three years. That’s a rarity in the museum realm where often more than a decade generally passes before an institution reaches out to an artist for another project. The exceptions to this pattern only come about when an artist has had some sort of monumental breakthrough that simply cannot, and should not, be ignored. In this breathtaking exhibition, Looking Beyond The Mirror, Peter introduces two truly groundbreaking bodies of work that express his exploration of human existence from the perspective of an individual’s perception of the world as well as an observation of the potential of a human being existing as a creative entity in this lifetime and beyond. The first group of work in the exhibition is entitled 7 Bodies and features seven of the most impressive kilncast glass sculptures that you are ever likely to see. In the second group, Perception, Peter pushes beyond the boundaries of his proficiency with kiln-cast glass to create 13 mesmerizing sculptures, each in precisely the same abstract form, in differing types of stone, glass, and metal. In my more than 30 years in the field, I have never seen an artist tackle such an ambitious challenge. Given that the forms themselves are identical, our eyes are opened to the materials Peter has chosen to work with and how exquisitely he has worked each of these materials to maximize their individual visual effect. Our perceptions are thus rewarded with the almost infinite range of differences within the matrix of their sameness. In this remarkable exhibition, Peter Bremers, already known as a master of kiln cast glass, has joined the likes of Constantin Brancusi, Henry Moore, David Smith, and Alexander Calder in elevating the field of sculpture through the rigorous pursuit of innovative and significant form. Charles A. Shepard III President & CEO Fort Wayne Museum of Art
INTRODUCTION by JOHN GLASCOCK 7 BODIES, 13 PERCEPTIONS A Primer on What We Make of Matter “Concerning matter, we have been all wrong. What we have called matter is energy, whose vibration has been so lowered as to be perceptible to the senses. There is no matter.” - Albert Einstein In these works, Peter Bremers presents the possibility to re-connect with the clarity and exhilaration of our childhood way of sensing the Resonance of the world and the absolute bliss of being in innocence as separate from the knowing we have come to rely on. Magnificent in their magical simplicity, intrinsic in each of these objects vibrates a humble message from their creator – that of his certainty of being in touch with all that surrounds and in harmony with the earth upon which he dwells. They speak of the joyous sense of discovery, of the possibility of being connected by listening from within and of understanding clearly by experiencing without “knowing”. Not unlike a game of blind man’s bluff (You can see more clearly with a blindfold on), Peter’s offer of how to truly understand the world that surrounds us is at once reduced and consequently expanded through his choice of a deceptively simple, visual construct and rules - which together with their virtuosity, persuasively tantalize each of us into playing his game. In these 2 collections, entitled “7 Bodies” and “Perceptions” we are presented with similarity as expressed though the repetition of 2 elegant body forms; while we simultaneously experience individuality (in each collection) through the astounding diversity of the artist’s choices of unexpected materials, exquisite execution and sensual finishes - all ultimately culminating in creating the distinct presence with which each figure is endowed. They are the same and awesomely different. Combining this interplay between uniqueness and distinction within the sensuousness of his figures, Peter poses a purposeful dilemma, a game of sorts, in hopes of coxing his viewer’s consideration of what in physics is called the “Observer Effect”: ‘the fact that simply observing a phenomenon necessarily changes the phenomenon.’ That in experiencing art, as in experiencing individuals, what we bring to the experience directly contours our experience of it. “When you seek the truth, carry nothing with you along that path.”
Faced with these differences in sameness, one’s approach to these works might be to begin by classifying the distinctions between each in material or approach, or creating sets of similarities of textures, colors, how the forms’ shapes ripple and change as you shift perspective …All leading to an underlying, if not conscious goal of which piece one likes best. Perhaps not realizing, although you have never seen these figures before, that it is likely that many of your observations and even your final chosen “winner” are not actually a surprise to you: You knew those answers the moment you laid eyes on the work. Ahhh, and therein lies Peter’s call to play a different life game and basis of an obvious riddle: When is knowing life more important than being in it? Following what one might recognize as a practice of visual mindfulness, Peter’s alternative approach to being with art and in the world, comes in the form of conjuring our inner child’s playfulness, our not knowing and re-experiencing the sheer joy of having each part of what we don’t know revealed to us. Peek-a-boo! The figures remain the same, yet we are different in our sensing of them. We explore their forms and surfaces, not to classify something outside of ourselves, but to satiate in the experience of each. Our eyes traverse their outlines, their inner-lines as fathomed structures are revealed, then conceal. Textures undulate and refocus as patterns, only to recede again into texture. And that which before seemed simple and known now divulges hidden complexities and guarded secrets And when we are complete with one piece we move on to approach another to have the possibility to compare not with an earlier one, but rather with our experiences of each. …Following this approach, as in the first, we may find that we still enjoy one figure more than another. It may surprise us which that is, or not. However, we will know at least one answer to the riddle posed and perhaps have come to re-appreciate that the joy in the true nature of something, as with the true nature of another, is to allow each the possibility to unfold in before us.
PERCEPTION The Forest and the Trees, 13 works Contemplating “If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, Infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro’ narrow chinks of his cavern.” - William Blake Although speculated a century before, it was not until the mid 6th century BC that, through observations of the moon and the other celestial bodies, early Greek astronomy offered the first “proof ” that the world was spherical. A rather astounding concept considering that until that point in time (and for some time following) humanity had come to agree that the world was flat, and should one sail too far past the horizon the ship and crew would fall off its edge and be lost forever. Between then and now the established precepts of science came to hold that facts, or the things that we Understand and Know be True, are limited to those things that we can Observe to behave consistently - given similar conditions and when measured by similar, calibrated instruments: enter the Scientific Method. Observation, Memory and Perception have always made an Intriguing Threesome… This is all well and good …However, being the Passionate Beings that we are, it is important to note that it is much further along the emotional scale from Knowledge that we find where our Perceptions lay. Which by example is to say that “I “KNEW” what I saw, and I Remember that the color of the child’s ball was GREEN!” …Even though, the only ball in the entire vicinity of the child turned out to be RED – like the ball my dog and I play fetch with. Simply stated, our Perceptions are not the TRUTH of our Observations as much as we may think or wish them to be. And why would they be? As, unlike the rigor taken in science, our casual Observations are filtered, contoured and otherwise most always informed by any number of historical experiences, memories, our sensing acuity and not to forget - our emotional state at the time of Observation, or recounting our Memory of it. An amazing fact about who we are as Sensors Creating Our World, is that our Cultural, Spiritual and Social trainings in addition to our Personal Life Experiences each can play a role in what, and how we Value and thereby Perceive Things Observed - thus making how we come to our Perspectives Individual to Each. And although it may be easy to find agreement about a shared “love” for a beautiful piece of art, or to give a personal Perspective on any number of subjects, it is rare to have an opportunity to become the Witness to, and Observer of, our Own Perceptions at play.
PERCEPTION I 25 x 18 x 7.8 inch crystal By means of this beautiful sculptural series Peter Bremers offers an opportunity to glimpse how our Perceptions inform our world through the intriguing visual convention of experiencing InterReferencing, Repeated Observations. Peter presents us with 13 matching, yet unique Celestial Entities – Each, equally beautiful as the next, has been exquisitely executed in distinct material, color, texture and finish. Each sculpture also has been thoughtfully created in its chosen medium to range from transparent to mirroring … and all towards the collective intent to trigger within us emotional memories and comparisons through their individual likenesses and distinctions. We are given repetitions of an intricately ‘simple’, leaning Form… and within each - a beguiling nothingness - an opening allowing a view through and into the Space Beyond. The Sculpture’s lines lead the ‘I’ in and around its captivating form, but always returning us to the Hole within. And of course, when looking through its limited aperture, we only can see some of the other Bodies, but never their entire Constellation. Observations while BEing in the Moment bring us closer to the Divine… Through his multiple Re-Presentation of this single, undulating art form, Peter’s masterful manipulations within each and among the whole, become a contemplative meditation on the Perception of ONE amongst Peers. A contemplation of repeating Celestial Serenities through which to bring us to experience an otherwise unconscious part of each of us that INFORMS our Life, our World, our Universe. A place one also may come to EXPERIENCE that in life, when we are PRESENT and Detached from finding Our Perspective, we may discover Our Own Sense of Perfection along the Path another took creating thirteen Perfect Invitations.
PERCEPTION II 25 x 18 x 7.8 inch amber glass
PERCEPTION III 25 x 18 x 7.8 inch blue glass
PERCEPTION IV 25 x 18 x 7.8 inch Bianco Puro Italian marble
PERCEPTION X 25 x 18 x 7.8 inch bronze
PERCEPTION V 25 x 18 x 7.8 inch black marquina marble Spain
PERCEPTION XIII 25 x 18 x 7.8 inch painted aluminum
PERCEPTION VIII 25 x 18 x 7.8 inch Calcite, Utah
PERCEPTION IX 25 x 18 x 7.8 inch sodalite, Bolivia
PERCEPTION VI 25 x 18 x 7.8 inch Grand Canyon onyx
PERCEPTION XI 25 x 18 x 7.8 inch brushed aluminum
PERCEPTION XII 25 x 18 x 7.8 inch chrome
PERCEPTION VII 25 x 18 x 7.8 inch Milas Lilac marble Turkey
7 BODIES In visualizing the omnipotence of human potential, this series imagines the innerworkings of the sum of our parts by exploring the metaphysical Bodies that comprise our Whole. Through their individual brilliance and their collective presence, Peter Bremers brings the theoretical components of our BEing into the experiential - and in doing so - allows us each to share in the truly unique INDIVIDUAL experience of our common, human, esprit de corps.
The PHYSICAL BODY
The MENTAL BODY
The Physical body is the demarcation of Myself and not-Myself; that which is Me and that which is other - the world that I am a part of and separate from. It finds strength not from its structural parts alone, but rather, from interweaving layers of flexibility that create an overlapping, interlocking matrix within. Our Physical Body, while we exist in it, is the vehicle with which we move through this space & time. It is our sensor array to everything from the sensual to the severe, and our means to procreate the possibility of future as we know it. It’s instinctive, magical intelligence sustains our breath, our pulse and health; reacting to possible danger before we perceive it and repairing our wounds without thought. It is our armor, our projector and the container, vestibule for ALL our other Bodies, that in sum, make us each who we are.
The crowning glory of the apex species, our Mental Body is an angelic genius, the devil incarnated and all things in between and beyond. Connecting and perceiving patterns from the gauze like layers of the sensed world’s CHAOS, the mind weaves its perceptions and notions into theories and concepts and then - judges their Truth and Value. Our mental intelligence is a constantly active ‘institution’ capable of self-awareness and ardent selfpreservation, painfully confined, yet utterly limitless. Sometimes mistaken as the ruler of life and proof of superiority, it is also fallible, impressionable and highly susceptible to persuasion from its Emotional and Physical Bodies as well as others’ manipulation. Without a doubt the Mental Body’s highest achievement is the illumination that comes from its unique ability to hold two or more competing ideas simultaneously and imagine the potential that lay outside known possibilities.
The EMOTIONAL BODY
The VIBRATIONAL BODY
As the perfect counterpart to our Physical Body’s stability, our Emotional Body is a Feeling Roller-coaster… It is here that our emotions take us in unexpected ways, at most surprising moments. From superficial sentimentality to profound cynicism, our Emotive Body is a set of ever spinning, translucent dice, ready to raise us to the highest mountain top and with the next throw – drop us into a bottomless pit. Our Emotional Body brings to the fore that our sense of time is “a moveable feast” – as when a sense of urgency to react overrides our self-control … or when despite needing to be elsewhere, we find ourselves unable to disengage from an alluring conversation. It is falling in love, crying over spilled milk and exhilaration beyond control. Its wounds can seem everlasting and its experiences contour our behavior and willingness to be vulnerable, confining our potential - only at another throw of the dice - to once again break free of such bounds.
Part Sensor, part Communicator and one of our most quintessential parts of BEing - our Vibrational Body is the vessel that attracts and interprets the constantly changing harmonic waves forming through the interaction of our Emotional and Mental Bodies’ vibrational Frequencies. Sometimes their combinations intensifying and at others nulling …they modulate from happy to sad in amplitudes from massive to nothingness, forming echoes and patterns in-between. Hitherto unknown, it has always been through the Art of our Vibrational BEing and the frequencies we sense, that we have been guided to the Truth in this world. …Regularly creating instant connections and rejections with the things and others we experience. While rarely aware of the underlying laws of vibrational attraction, we project, introject, mirror, complement, or otherwise clash with the “Other” - based on these unconsciously sensed vibrations and their interactions with inexplicable cellular memories deep inside us. If it is the Emotional Body which allows us to fall in Love, it is our Vibrational Body acts on the potential of that Love, drawn by the vibrational resonance of connection and harmonic accord. The Geiger counter of our BEing, our Vibrational Body cannot lie - as its dynamic appearance visualizes the actual, current relationship between our enigmatic “Self ” and the world in the moment we are encountering it.
The SPIRITUAL BODY Within the empty space that is Knowledge lies the opportunity of discovering the true preciousness within BEing… The crucible of our awareness, wisdom, and empathy, our Spiritual Body – allows us to move beyond simply knowing the world – to the opportunity of understanding that world and the Miracle of Life itself. Our Spiritual Body seeks answers to Life’s Quintessential Questions: Who are we? Why are we? From where do we come? and Where are we going? Our Spiritual Body is home to the effervescent golden threads of our soul and from there it communicates with All the Souls in the Universe, exploring the Expanding Consciousness and searching for the Divine Common Denominator. Whether developed around shared philosophical values, or along one’s own belief-system, its influence on our Being is solely by invitation and as a direct extension of our interest in the possibility to experience a Life of Unconditional Love and Wisdom.
The CREATIVE BODY The Creative Body is where Life’s Party begins. Creativity is human Joy manifested. And because everyone loves a great party – every BODY, at one time or another, joins the Party. It’s not simply that when Creativity speaks - we each hear her in our own language …Or that Creation multiplies the potential of each of our other Bodies. But rather, our deep, human attraction to her is that to Create - is an Act of Love - whose vibrational essence sustains into the future. Creativity always involves at least two, more, or ALL of our Bodies. It can take the form of a postcard to a friend, an abstract painting, a meal cooked, a symphony composed, a cure found, coaxing a smile, or designing the transport of the future. Yet in all forms, Creation stands as the manifested expression of the connection between the Genius of our Bodies and the Collective Creative Consciousness beyond. A connection which - when we allow ourselves to let go of all we hold on to - becomes available to each of us. Although, sometimes initially ego driven, True Creation is a selfless act, drawing its potential from the human desire to contribute to the whole … It can be a momentary success, immortal or unseen. However, each act of creation ads to the Evolution of our Universe, our development as a Species and expands the field of Human Creative Potential.
The ETHEREAL BODY The Ethereal Body was our body of Origin before we were physical â€Śand after our departure, the Ethereal Body will remain. Whether thought of as a personal Body or collectively shared Body, its place in our Universe is neither defined, nor confined by time, or dimension. It plays a Celestial role as the link to and means of communication between all Ethereal Bodies on the Physical plane and our Divine Source in this moment of Eternity. Simplistically complicated in design and function its single, golden antenna is encased in a sacred crystalline body forming the transmutator through which we each can be touched and can touch the Divine. The Ethereal Body is immortal, the purest form of creation and ever expanding. JOHN GLASCOCK 2017 artist and writer
ALL BODIES 39.3 x 16.5 x 8 inch
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS For the opportunity to exhibit “LOOKING BEYOND THE MIRROR” I thank THE FORT WAYNE MUSEUM of ART, their endlessly helpful staff, and HABATAT GALLERIES Authors JOHN GLASCOCK and CHARLES A SHEPARD III Photographers NELE SIEBEL, JASON SWISHER and DEREK BRUCE Graphic design and layout JOHN BOWMAN and AARON SCHEY For their indispensable help in realizing my artistic dreams I thank LHOTSKY SRO GLASS, MICHAEL BEHRENS GLASS, PAT DORATTI SCULPTURE STUDIOS, KEMNER BRONSGIETERIJ and SWEN PENNINGS A special thank you to LOUIS LANDON Steinway pianist, composer and pianist for peace, for his outstanding performance IMPROVISATIONS ON 7 BODIES and PERCEPTION, recorded live at the Fort Wayne Museum of Art 11-10-2017 And to JANET HARGUS always, for her patience and loving support.
A catalog celebrating the work of artists Peter Bremers.