The Center for Openness and Dialogue started the spring season with the solo exhibition entitled Leviathan, by artist Ergys Krisiko, curated by Ajola Xoxa. The artist’s works will be on display for the visitors during March 25 – April 15, 2022.
Leviathan is an underwater beast first mentioned in the Old Testament, a mythological creature, but at the same time a well-known metaphor in Judaism and Catholicism, a symbol of God’s great creative power, but also a beast capable of killing. At the same time, no one has ever seen the Leviathan: he stands completely alone and invisible in the depths of the sea.
Outside of Christianity, Leviathan has been recalled by the philosopher Thomas Hobbes, turning it into one of the most important metaphors in human history: that of the struggle for power. Hobbes believes that in his natural state, man is wicked and thinks of destroying the other, consequently the need to create a social contract arises: a pact for the creation of a higher power, capable of imposing consequences on the actions of men: the State. Thus, Leviathan represents a greater fear, which quenches the fear in itself to transfer it to this being that is capable of punishing.
Ergys Krisiko does not seek to abstract from the fact that this exhibition is conceived for COD, an artistic space located within the walls of the Prime Minister’s Office; on the contrary, the curatorial concept embraces this fact, getting inspired in the creation of this work by the building itself, bearer of so much history, sometimes treated as a trophy, as if power arises from the building itself. So, is the Leviathan the building or the power that it carries? Or is Leviathan is the force that brings the power, that is, the voting people? Is it the building that enslaved the Leviathan and trapped him in a cage, or is it the Leviathan himself who clutched it? Who is the Leviathan? Should he be feared?
The Mechanical Leviathan seeks to occupy the entire COD space, leaving little room for movement, to deliberately create the feeling of tightness, making the visitor feel small in the face of such a present sculpture. And yet, Leviathan’s portrayal as a creature trapped within the walls of the COD – the Prime Minister’s Office – inevitably brings about a special poetics, almost melancholic: this great beast, this monster is in fact all alone despite its greatness; silent, fearful, but harmless.
It is intended for the public to feel as if it is entering the body of the mythological monster, as if it were alive, like a virus in its stomach or like Pinocchio inside the whale’s chest: an observer waiting.
Everything around is dark, not with the intention of creating mystery than with the intention of extinguishing the dimensions of the space where we are positioned. It is, however, inevitable to feel that the creature has stumbled within the walls, not knowing whether it has entered there itself to conquer it, or it has been found there by mistake, under the weave of seeking for the right path. The goal is not for the artist to give an answer, his duty is to ask the questions, without positioning.
The script is mythological, although it’s symbolic and not figurative and as a consequence it leaves much room for interpretation; the importance is given to the experience of the public around the work and within it, which is undoubtedly a poetic experience, as if they were silent observers of an animal that is still in deep sleep, but that could wake up at any moment.
It is an aesthetic and physical shock, because the work forces you to interact with it and feel its material presence, amid the doubt whether this power is dark or completely harmless, which is further reinforced by the presence of three horses placed outside the COD , who quietly eat grass, as within a peaceful idyllic landscape, undisturbed, unafraid. And if these kings of the wild are not afraid in the face of the great Leviathan, then why should the visitor fear him? As much as physical as this experience is, it is also philosophical in the political world of 2022, where no mythological creature manages to challenge reality, because reality transcends fantasy.
Photo Courtesy: COD