Solaris – beyond the looking glass
His soft, chubby little fingers were cautiously touching the hard surface. A person on this impenetrable barrier was watching him curiously. My nephew had just had his first encounter with a looking glass – a mirror.
He interacted with other people and somehow instinctively interpreted their gestures. But, did he know the person in the mirror? When he grows up, he will learn a thing or two about himself, but the barrier will always remain there. Or, is there a place behind, even beyond the looking glass?
A few months ago, the acclaimed physicist Stephen Hawking announced that another $100 million project has been launched to find extraterrestrial intelligence.
Will this search be a triumph of mankind or just a way to escape Earth and its problems? Maybe, its escapism – escaping unpleasant reflections in the mirror or running away from the Latin aphorism “Nosce te ipsum“ (“Know Thyself”), that follows us like our own shadow?
Humanity mistakenly thinks of itself as ‘Knights of the Holy Contact’. Yet, we are all mortal. “Know Thyself” incorporates “Know Thy Body”.
In his elusive fantasy novel “Solaris“, Stanislaw Lem wrote: “We need mirrors. We don’t know what to do with other worlds“. In homage to this exquisite book, I made a group of fractal images titled “Stealth“, “Planet“, “Primal Secrets“, “Another Mandala“ and “Ripple Dance“. They portray the wavy liquid surfaces of the enigmatic planet Solaris that has an uncanny ability to unearth the deepest and most painful memories of its visitors. In their search for extraterrestrial life, scientists from Earth may find the very thing they were running from – themselves.