Parallel Current (Eridanus and Srotaswini)
Bindis, wood board, paint, tape, thread, glue, fiberglass screens
48 inches x 24 inches
The bindis present in this work, worn and collected by the artist during 2015, mark 29 stars that outline the primary form of Eridanus, a constellation with parallel celestial mythologies in ancient Greco-Roman and Indian astronomy.
Bindis are traditional elements of Indian culture worn on the center of the forehead. Symbolizing the third eye of Lord Shiva, these markers can be considered a portal between spiritual, celestial and physical planes of existence.
Mythologically, Phaeton, son of Helios, falls from the sky into the Eridanus River while Srotaswini, meaning ‘flow of a stream’, depicts the Ganges River flowing onto the head of Nataraja, an incarnation of Lord Shiva. Both narratives situate this celestial formation as a bridge between the spiritual and physical worlds. Water or a current serves as a porous and fluid pathway between them.
Time plays a role in the way this piece is constructed and the way we in which we as humans have mapped time through looking at the celestial world. The depiction of a constellation on this particular surface takes this mapping of space outside time. We see the cosmic world as endless and timeless as its out of our physical reach but also look to the same abstracted space to construct our notion of time. The works also aims to make a link between two different cultures in marking time - in this case Indian and Greco-Roman astronomy.
Photographs by Beatriz Meseguer