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Gor Chahal :
Installation At Melk Benedictine Abbey

Melk, 2010
Abt-Berthold-Dietmayr-Straße 1, 3390 Melk


For his temporary installation in the church of Melk Benedictine Abbey, Gor Chahal engages with the tradition of the antependium, the adornment of the lower altar with richly decorated fabric. The artist installed nine large-format photographs that address core themes of the Bible. Three work groups of still lifes were completed for the eight side altars and the high altar: The Sacrifice, God Jehova, Bread and Wine, and The Miracle.

The title of the installation, Behind the Horizon, alludes to the persepective in painting, which was developed to perfection during the Renaissance, rendering the spatial interrelationship between the objects in the tangible physical world visible on the basis of descriptive geometry. It is well known that central perspective has its vanishing point on the horizon. The painting is subservient to the viewer's gaze. The artist contrasts this optical illusion with a contemplative form of depiction familiar to us from medieval times. By using a special lens Gor Chahal applies a reverse perspective where everything tapers towards the foreground, like in the old icon paintings. This technique enables one to imagine the things behind an imaginary horizon, and this is to be regarded as a metaphor for the existence of a transcendental world.
(Cornelia Offergeld)