Zadik Zadikian’s Leap into the Third



Zadik Zadikian at his solo exhibition “Summer Convergence” in Los Angeles.


To perceive, in the darkness of the present, this light that strives to reach us but cannot — this is what it means to be contemporary.

      — Giorgio Agamben


The cusp of the third decade of the 21st century celebrates the underground survivors of the unabated domination of conceptualism in the art world which froze out organic expression arising from the human touch.

Not to be deterred, Zadik Zadikian made a heroic escape from behind the Iron Curtain to forge his own passage through Uncertainty as an artist. Drawing on his ancient heritage to breathe new life into the crucial matter of art as mater (Mother) birthing the spirit of a new age.

The triumph of this eternal quest is what makes Zadakian the standard bearer of a 21st century neomodernism.

The spectacular Zadik Zadikian 21st century icon, Hermaphroditus (Hydrocal Mummified with Burlap 20 x 45 x 81 in), innovates the point of the feminine downward triangle as the pregnant belly, rather than the vulva, as is typical in ancient artifacts. This is surely an indication that we have moved beyond conception, beyond gestation…to the 21st century birth!

By way of plunging into the archaic and denying the art world fashion of conceptualization for his alchemical pursuit of spirit in matter, Zadik Zadikian arises with a neomodernism celebrating the feminine power in organic forms that are remarkably alive in their stillness. Reflecting on the power of movement within stillness is how this contemporary is defining 21st century art.

“This work is about the outside. How does the outside impact us? We can fight against influence, we can shut our eyes and yet somehow there is a change,” states Zadikian. “Like a night sky, like countless worlds we cannot touch, this process is the attempt to find and see our foreign elements, our foreign ideas.”

The Human Touch

The Zadikian human touch dominates the focus of his awareness of his range of symbolic subjects presented here as a sample of his vast ouevre — his signature abstracted figurative portraits revealing traces of his fingerprint.

Zadik Zadikian Gisela (High File Clay Water-gilded 24k Gold 13 x 7 x 5 in)

Reflecting on the power of movement within stillness is how Zadikian is defining 21st century art. “This work is about the outside. How does the outside impact us? We can fight against influence, we can shut our eyes and yet somehow there is a change,” he states. “Like a night sky, like countless worlds we cannot touch, this process is the attempt to find and see our foreign elements, our foreign ideas.”

The new emphasis on authenticity in the culture is encapsulated in the powerful visceral presence pregnant with meaning of the Zadikian oeuvre. Amorphous shapes are united in the artist’s Midas touch which placed his early classical works, informed formal training at Erevan Art Academy, into museums of contemporary behind the airing Curtain.

The artist’s intention to reverse his formal training to play with terra-cotta catalyzed his decades of perfecting a process of injecting spirit into matter (mater/mother) through various forms of collaboration with his audience.

Sourcing a Vocabulary in Gold

Zadik Zadikian’s Los Angeles studio

The artist entered the New York art world in 1969 after a daring escape from the Soviet Union which landed him in San Francisco beforehand, where he worked on large-scale public sculpture installations in the Brancusi lineage. In the New York art world of the seventies, the artist worked on projects with the legendary Tony Shafrazi, his lifelong friend and dealer.

In the New York art world of the seventies, the artist worked on projects with the legendary Tony Shafrazi, his lifelong friend and dealer. His 1978 project “1000 Bricks Gilded in 24 Karat Gold Leaf” distilled his alchemical vision of transformation within the minimalist focus on everyday material.

“Gold having become his unifying material, like an alchemist he transmuted everything into this noble metal — from ancient stone reliefs to alien like figures. These auric works recreated worlds beyond the realm of everyday thought, bordering on the threshold of the Timeless and the Eternal,” writes Shafrazi. “His concerns with art dive into nature’s most fundamental structures. Units of everlasting elegance on which higher forms are born, always paradoxically mixing the extravagant with the simplest of form.”

Working in gold leaf represents the crowning achievement — a solar consciousness bestowed on royalty — arising from the artist’s internal/external marriage of spirit/ matter in the tradition of the alchemical Great Work.

Reviving Ancient Symbols

Taking the ancient symbols and icons and reshaping them through his own vision is what every artist should be doing today on the cusp of an exciting new era of holistic art of the hieros gamos within/without.

Like Reuben Nakian, his fellow contemporary marking the middle ground between abstraction/figuration as a new modernism in the late 20th century, Zadikian draws on his ancient heritage to incorporate the eternal symbol with his timeless approach to sculpture.

The artist defines the 21st century contemporary infused with the archaic through a persistence with organic process and the reworking ancient symbols with new meaning defined through his materials. While rejecting the notion of formality, whether it be in the art or gallery presentation, the artist has returned onto the arts scene with a major personal statement timed to the present zeitgeist.

The Triangle

Zadik Zadikian Triangle Female Figure (Bronze 6 x 3 x 3 in)

The ongoing hermeneutical motif arising throughout the works on display is the triad or triangle. This sacred geometry is manifested in varying degrees of figuration/abstraction returning the human as a central figure in art from the electronic obsessions of the past decades.

Zadik Zadikian Lady in Pink (Hydrocal 8 x 13 x 9 in)

With the neomodernist, the literal manifests as the marriage of form and content

Zadik Zadikian The Birth (Bronze 5 x 7 x 8 in.)

Here the triangle points to/away, from The Birth...


Interlocking Triangles/Six-Pointed Star

The interlocking duality of light/shadow in Six Points (Double Triangle) incorporates the symbol of the 21st century icon of the hieros gamos (sacred marriage) by way of 22 unique triangular pieces, the number representing the mastery of the alchemist in transmuting the blackness of lead into gold.

Zadik Zadikian Six Points (Double Triangle)

The artist explains his use of magic in number (22 is the Master of form: 11 Master Number X 2):

Every single triangle was sculpted individually so that they can survive by themselves as of total finish work and together they form another pattern: the 11 black triangles versus 11 gilded with 24 karat gold leaf. Extreme black absorbs all the lights and pure gold reflects all light. The balance of this to like forms enter weave so perfectly that creates mystical pattern that has entrancing powers I can think of and those qualities are very important in this work.

— Zadik Zadikian

The Yod

The mystical Yod, known as the Finger of God, is embodied throughout the Zadikian ouevre as the magical manifestation of spirit and matter, the inside/outside of a contemporary philosophical symbol: the Möbius strip.

Zadik Zadikian Inside/Outside (Bronze 2 x 1 x 1 in)

Zadik Zadikian Chair (Burnt Sienna 35 x 29 x 29 in.)
Zadik Zadikian Amphora (Water- gilded 24k gold leaf on hydrocal 27 x 24

The Sacred Marriage of Opposites

Zadikian articulates his vocabulary of the sacred marriage in the complementarity of opposites. An example here is Stacks in gold (Sun) and aluminum/copper (Moon/Venus).

Zadik Zadikian Gold Stack (24k Gold, Walnut Wood 72 x 9 x 18 in)
Zadik Zadikian Aluminum Stack (Aluminum, copper, walnut wood 81 x 18 x 36 in)

Zadikian also establishes the polarity of opposites in the erotic tension between his chosen materials. Botticelli incorporates sensuous curves by way of hydrocal mummified in red burlap for a personal signature incorporating feminine desire.

Zadik Zadikian Botticelli (Hydrocal Mummified with Burlap 81 x 123 x 9 in.)

Botticelli reflects the multiplying effect of the sensuous immersion into the 21st century neomodernist perspective.

The Birth of the Third

Zadaikian’s original perspective manifests in his corpus as embodied spirit and matter evoked through form, color and material.

This is past/present/future mater/mother giving birth to…

Zadik Zadikian 3 Aces (Hydrocal 102 x 20 x 4 in)

…the Third space of the in-between where the 21st century icon is made visceral as the inner containment of Eros, newly defined as the dynamic integration of the tension between opposites.

The marbleized pink coloration highlighted in Zadikian’s erotic shapes sensually merges the tension of hard/soft into a divine wedding of vertical/horizontal replacing the cross as an icon of soul surrender. The strength of his material yielding to the demands of form reflects a newfound personal power of the object as anointed subject arising from the embodiment of masculine/feminine.

Zadik Zadikian Blossoming Lips (Hydrocal 22 x 24 x 24 in )

The Master takes what is old as human civilization and makes in New. Zadikian’s sculpture are the emergent master forms of the 21st century symbol of the Möbius Strip in which interior is indistinguishable from exterior. The culmination of this half-century process makes Blossoming Lips the ultimate transexual champion of a new perspective of art as outer expression reflecting an inner quest for balance.

Speculative Realist (Found) Object Intervention at MIT List Visual Arts Center courtesy of Paradigm Shifting Sultan Sharrief’s Quantum Leap

“Speculative Realist (Found) Object Intervention” at “Welcome to MIT Playtest” at MIT List Visual Arts Center on May 16 succeeded in bring a post-subjective dialectic simultaneously into the American art museum & the academy at the start of “MIT Media in Transition +10: Democracy in Digital Media” — where the Mother of all academic panels took place under Sultan Sharrief’s visionary art process.

The introduction to the conference in the rarified space of the MIT List Arts Center was an interactive/participatory Event delivering the new paradigm art that I have been exalting as a critic for two decades!

At the entrance was preconference organizer Sultan Sharrief’s invitation to participate in his VR multimedia project-in-process: “Ancestral Holograms.”  Encountering his ancestor in VR had a haunting effect after I met his brother in the food line and experienced his mother’s powerful presence on the integrated panel offering valuable insights about authentic collaboration arising from the heart — with examples in the local community.

By way of this rooted authenticity, the ancestral tradition leaps from locality to the national stage of the art museum!

“Welcome to MIT Playtest” on May 16, 2019 was an invitation to conference participants bring projects for open discussion…

“Speculative Realist (Found) Objects & the Ontology of Desire: Montreal, Cyprus and Berlin” found there way into the art museum by way of “Welcome to MIT Playtest” on May 16, 2019.
Phenomenology of “Speculative Realist (Found) Object Intervention” was intended to accompany my May 17 delivery of my paper…
A slide from my May 17 presentation completing the Quantum Experiment initiated on May 16 as a matter of fidelity to the Sept. 9, 2014 declaration of the EVENT that launched this blog.

…in order to launch a new dialectic by way of an intervention on the all-Male Speculative Realist Movement by way of a 360-perspective of Eros as the tension between the opposites in my presentation:  Web 3.0 and the (R)evolution of Desire: The Quantum Leap from #MeToo to #WeToo.

CLICK HERE for the abstract:

Valerie Giovanini (EGS 2017) hands a participant a card about her “Handmaiden’s Tale” panel with a photo depicting the use of the speculative object of the Eros uniform in civil disobedience.
I discuss a new dialectic of Eros in the academy with Sasha, a theater student deconstructing the character of Blanche in “Streetcar named Desire” for the local Fringe Festival.

After my first participation in an authentic incorporation of VR as an interactive medium into a paradigm leap as the organizer’s prompt into “Welcome to MIT Playtest”…participants were led through a makeshift labyrinth in the basement of the building…


….where Sultan Sharrief arose above the seated crowd as the priest of a new order, bringing his ancestry from virtual reality into the heart of the live action — by way of introducing a panel projecting into the future with his mother Sabreen Sharrief and four other paradigm shifter’s leap into the future (L-R): Henry Jenkins, Cornel West, Charity Everett and Jongwoo Han.

Leonard Cohen Park

Pour ma chère J-F:

Les Hasards Nécessaires

Penn Station to Gare Centrale de Montréal

crossing the border by means of a test

originating in Quebec’s magical forest

La Reine des jeux has spoken:

“Necessary Chances are the first step to the Hieros Gamos.”

Did I write test? I meant text!

Les Hasards Nécessaires

is a mathematical marriage proposal

how many synchronicities

make the sacred wedding?

Let’s recount…

#1 is an interview with a Montreal scholar

who believes—not in destiny or fate

but radical contingency

“In French it is hasard,” he says

Les Hasards Nécessaires

“first step” that brought me to Montreal.

#2 begins with two pears

lying in the market

wanting to be caressed.

I purchase both

nibbling one pear in the Sun

Other smooshed in Shadow.

Moon eclipses Sun

Hélio dancing on a Medicine Wheel.

Faro tiles pointing in four directions

bursts upon me as dawn rises

sleeping on a wrought iron bench

facing the Atlantic west

houses of bright hues

cheery tiles that make me smile

white stone obelisk crowning

the cross of the four directions

wrought iron bench to the ocean east

I am in Parc du Portugal

Hélio de Jesus Pereira Mestre

gifts his handmade bag

with his Old World seeds

in my lap of New Worlds born

facing the hexagon gazebo

I stick my index finger into the Pereira heart

Les Hasards Nécessaires

Penn Station to Gare Centrale de Montréal

crossing the border by means of a test

originating in Quebec’s magical forest

La Reine des jeux has spoken:

“Necessary Chances are the first step to the Hieros Gamos.”

pull out two tiny seeds to plant

projecting into his “spacetime”

journey to the magical forest

with the bag of Helio seeds

on my lap on his office couch

awaiting semance from the Unicorn head

who spells out my “scared marriage”


…the term we invented for our Web 3.0 leap

translated upon my seed collection

“Je ne suis pas prêt à te voir.”

then, I will take Montreal…Eros, guide me

to your Tripled Breasted Mont Royal!

I find myself falling in love with the city

named for the Hieros Gamos…

Nietzsche’s Sacre Monte resurrected as

Ville-Marie — Bride of Christ

New World marrying French romance & Anglo reserve

…again, we are reversing roles

Duende, says Lorca is magical power

luring girls and boys into the forest

fumbling their way home

flamenco is how Cohen spiraled

into the interior coniunctio

his six-chord passion play

oh, to balance the Sacred & Profane

at the Cross of the Four Directions

crowning quintessence writ on the Portuguese Flag!

“Leonard Cohen Park!” proclaims his missive

Adding link of Montreal’s troubadour & pal

fraternizing on the bench of my #WeToo pear-I-fact

our/oroboros is complete now

twin Flame’s Les Hasards Nécessaires challenge

our own duende of coniunctios interior/exterior.

#WeToo rendition Stinging Synchronicity

recounting how many for the magical pear

to conjure a pair as One

the maestro’s triad chords

Translating mathematics into poetry

#3 Leonard Cohen himself utters:

“From a third-storey window above the Parc du Portugal,

I’ve watched the snow come down all day.

As usual, there’s no one here. There never is.”

No one but us.

–Lisa Paul Streitfeld


March 1, 2019

Web 3.0 and the (R)evolution of Desire: The Quantum Leap from #MeToo to #WeToo

Dr. Lisa Paul Streitfeld at the MIT List Arts Center in Cambridge on May 17, 2019.

CLICK HERE for the video of Dr. Streitfeld’s presentation.

Web 3.0 and the (R)evolution of Desire: The Quantum Leap from #MeToo to #WeToo

Dr. Lisa Paul Streitfeld

Kulturindustrie theorist Dr. Lisa Paul Streitfeld has been a pioneer of realtime online New Media collaborative practice since 2006. Her 2014 project designated to open online social network space for Web 3.0 collaboration made her a target of binary opposition when the #MeToo media firestorm arising from celebrity cult power structures hit home turf. Her paper is the outcome of a 2018 Web 3.0 collaboration assessing the impact of social media movements: “From #MeToo to #WeToo”.

#MeToo shaking up entrenched power structures and collapsing the hierarchies of celebrity cults in government, the academy and the entertainment industry is viewed from a quantum Web 3.0 perspective freeing desire from the oppression of the Web 2.0 “Like.” Producing the phenomenology of a media firestorm surrounding a Web 3.0 initiative to deconstruct the hidden power structures surrounding Critical Theory celebrity cults in the American academy, this paper utilizes hermeneutics as apparatus to investigate the historical nature of cult and its relation to the occult as the alternative to the patriarchal literary canon. Dr. Streitfeld’s philosophical archeology of #MeToo investigates institutional control over feminine desire against the contemporary mythology of a Reality TV twittering Oval Office bypassing governmental hierarchies to demonstrate a transparency of power transcending Clinton’s scandalous affair in the literal seat of power under the similar circumstances of a government shutdown. From the cultural upheaval, the emergence of a universal 21st century icon of gender balance is apprehended by means of tracing the hermeneutics of desire in the academy — from the academic repression following the landmark 1992 Jane Gallop sexual harassment case up to the 2018 #MeToo disclosure of the gender-bending digital phenomenology of institutionalized erotic coercion in Reitman vs. Ronell debated endlessly through social media. This paper is the outcome of the author’s twelve-year social media experiment — from the psychological domination of Eros via the Web 2.0 “Like” into the liberating quantum leap of the Web 3.0 #WeToo collaboration across the social network.

Entanglement in the Alps: Di Nicola’s “Trauma and Event” and the Third

img_3514-4Descending from the Steinmatte at European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, from left to right: Isaac Linder, Alain Badiou and Vincenzo Di Nicola. According to Di Nicola, he is explaining to his mentor: “my announcement of ‘BADIOU’S SICKLE’ to the man himself! He had a good chuckle, and when we got a little lower in front of some large wild flowers, I said, sometimes shears will do, sometimes a scythe…and sometimes, in the case of the overgrown weeds in the garden of psychiatry, we need ‘Badiou’s Sickle’ to do the job of separating philosophy from its conditions.”

Schopenhauer had it easy; he simply had to write his elegant prose to make philosophy and science indistinguishable with literary insights drawn from an inkwell. This is perhaps the reason why he was unknown in his time but had everlasting fame as the philosopher of genius.

Today, reviving the humanities means connecting these separate disciplines to form a holistic human model capable of meeting the challenges of the 21st century. A 30-year correspondence between C.G. Jung and Wolfgang Pauli, the father of modern science, resulted in a mutual prophecy of the 21st century icon, the Hieros Gamos, revealing an emergent holism of the psyche. Yet their joint project failed to meet the stated mission of marrying psychology and science (Roth, 2012).

Now this vision finds success in Jung’s Switzerland. Vincenzo Di Nicola, a Canadian psychiatrist, had a breakthrough while working on his Ph.D. with the French philosopher Alain Badiou in the final years of the Schirmacher laboratory European Graduate School in Saas-Fee.

Di Nicola’s entanglement with Badiou was sourced in the merging of their separate notions of event (philosophy) and trauma (psychiatry). “I decided to examine nothing less than the history of modern psychiatry and its relationship to philosophy by investigating trauma,” he writes in a two-part paper in the American Philosophical Association blog. “During my seminars with Alain Badiou (2005, 2009a), I was struck by the symmetry between his description of the event as an opening and my emerging understanding of trauma as a rupture. When I consulted him, Badiou immediately recognized trauma/event as a fresh and innovative pairing” (Di Nicola, 2017).

Di Nicola’s Trauma and Event throws the symptom-based DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual) and methodological EBM (Evidence-Based Medicine) out the window. It essentially flattens the patriarchal hierarchical model of psychotherapy, which he sums up as hermetically sealed, into mutual observation, a collaboration between patient and healer. “The face-to-face encounter that Levinas described can never be altogether symmetrical but we identify the asymmetry as much as possible and negotiate the differences,” Di Nicola explains. “Psychoanalysis is being conceived more and more as a ‘bipersonal field’ and so much work is going on in this field that Werner Bohleber (2010) refers to an intersubjective turn (Di Nicola, 2017).

This new practice identifies the Di Nicola “orphan” in-between diagnostic categories signaling an unexpected “event” by means of the rupture preceding trauma. The psychiatrist explains the process as one of psychic reorganization following profound insight, or what physicists qualify as a quantum leap. Di Nicola writes about how James Joyce, who was influenced by Freud through the first Italian psychoanalyst, Edoardo Weiss, called this an epiphany: “Joyce’s epiphany is Freud’s insight and may be understood as something that occurs in the eventual site, which I call a predicament. The epiphany or insight is a response to the predicament. We could go so far as to say that the predicament, the eventual site, is a necessary condition for insight. Only a cut, a tear in the world can create the acute sense of a rupture that requires a response. Once the analysand has her epiphany, thoughts, actions and feelings are at first interpreted, and later experienced, differently. For this translation from interpretation to insight to new experience to occur, a deep fidelity must accompany the procedure” (Di Nicola, 2017).

Fidelity fits with the French philosopher’s view of psychoanalysis as love, which means interrelationship, energy flowing from the heart, as opposed to solely from mind. Crossing the border from psychoanalysis to philosophy, we pick up on Badiou’s language for the Event through the psychiatrist’s interpretation: “In my reading of Badiou, the three conditions for an event are: to encounter an event (which is a purely contingent encounter), to give it a name, and to be faithful to it. The subject emerges through the event. By naming it and maintaining fidelity to the event, the subject emerges as a subject to its truth…‘Being there,’ as subjective phenomenology would have it, is not enough” (Di Nicola, 2017).

Alain Badiou lecturing on the “Event as transcendent from the local origin into the world” in a seminar attended by Lisa Streitfeld. The French philosopher’s evening lecture (August session 2014) on the topic catalyzed the author’s observation of the convergence of the Humanities into the Third.


In other words, pro-activity remains essential for an event to sustain itself as a self-contained entity. This suggests that a quantum leap culminating with Di Nicola receiving his doctorate in 2012 set the stage for an Event in Saas-Fee two years later, when four philosophers (Hardt/Negri, Harman and Lovink) followed the French philosopher’s Monday evening talk on the Event (“An Arrow into the world”) by announcing a quantum leap into the Third in their respective fields (Streitfeld, 2014).

Marie-Louise von Franz, disciple of Carl Jung and collaborator with the Nobel Laurette physicist Wolfgang Pauli, interpreted the triad moving towards the quaternity as the pursuit of the Self, made evident in divination techniques and synchronicities:

The great question is whether the field of the collective unconscious is such an arbitrary random pattern of archetypes, a field in which the excited points are archetypes or does it have some order? Jung has already pointed out that among the different archetypes, there is one which encompasses and regulates all the others and that is the archetype of the Self….Let us say it is an active ordering centre which regulates the relationships of all other archetypes and gives to the field of the collective unconscious a definite mathematical order….In China the dynamic processes are represented by groups of threes and the result is represented by a quaternio….The triads always point to dynamism and therefore to action in a situation, while the quaternios always point to, or describe, the whole situation….So we can now go on with our definition and say the collective unconscious is a field of psychic energy, the excited points of which are the archetypes, and that field has an ordered aspect which is dominated by the number rhythms of the Self, which as you will see are triads and quaternios. With the number oracles and divination techniques one tries to define the process of the Self archetype….Jung points out that the Self is in an eternal process of constant rejuvenation. He compares it to the carbon-nitrogen cycle of the sun, where certain particles are split off and others attracted, giving finally a rejuvenated atom of the same form. It is as though the atom split off particles and attracted others, thus restoring its own form in constant self-renewal (Von Franz, 1980, pp. 65-66).

Synchronicities leading to self-generating perpetual renewal originating in a holistic mathematics of autonomous number (Streitfeld, 2018) point the way to a new modernism in which the Self is a central organizing principle. For Badiouean philosophy originating in mathematics to recognize Jungian psychology culminating with mathematics by way of a cluster of breakthroughs in the humanities reflects a history of scientific inventions arising in clusters:

In honest histories of science one may find such an observation, namely that strangely enough there is a tendency for certain ideas and inventions to crop up in different places at the same time. From a psychological point of view that is not such a miraculous thing. In the spirit of time, so to speak, certain questions and psychological problems are constellated. Then several intelligent people have the same question in mind, chase along the same alley and come to the same results, and that is due to the constellation of an archetype in the collective unconscious (Von Franz, 1980, pp. 71-72).

Di Nicola maintains his consistency with the triad by listing his Saas Fee influences as a triumvirate: Badiou, Foucault and Agamben (Di Nicola, 2017). Badiou’s predilection for organising thoughts in thirds as a phenomenology was made evident in his paper on Marcel Duchamp and the number three (Streitfeld 2018); Di Nicola follows this creative path by declaring that Badiou “offers three profound things to psychiatry: a theory of the subject; a theory of how philosophy works; and a theory of change based on the event.” Furthermore, he clarifies psychiatry’s central task in thirds: a general psychology as a science of human being; a coherent theory of psychiatry as a discipline; and because it proposes to help people, it needs a theory of change (Di Nicola, 2017).

Within the Third space, the in-between realm of Di Nicola’s “orphan,” a correct diagnosis may be made from the 360-perspective of Kairos, or the Aha Moment. With entanglement, the phenomenon of two physically separate particles sharing the same existence and time is revealed through the process of observation of the quantum state for the whole system. In this manner, the new science marrying philosophy and psychiatry catalyzing the 2012-2014 culmination of the Saas-Fee laboratory may also be evident in a therapist/patient observation making a simultaneous quantum leap from the “bipersonal field” to the Third.

Von Franz presents the Chinese method of writing history to “obtain a real picture of the archetypal situation existing at that time” (Von Franz, 1980 p. 71) which she noted “gives the idea of a field”:

The events, one could say, are shown in an ordered time field, and that is the way in which the Chinese use number. Number gives information about the time-bound ensemble of events. In each moment there is another ensemble, and number gives information as to the qualitative structure of the time-bound clusters of events…number is an archetypal representation or idea which contains a quantitative and a qualitative aspect. Therefore, before we can touch the whole problem of divination, we have to revise our view of number and of mathematics. From there we can probably approach certain other factors, which until now we could only confess we could not measure but could only approach with the feeling function (Von Franz, 1980, pp. 71-72).

Di Nicola, familiar with how the quantum leap changes one’s life course, reveals the process through his own experience integrating thought and feeling. This integration was made evident in this analysis of the synchronistic use of the triad in his writing with his mentor, who brought mathematics into continental philosophy: “Deep into my philosophical investigations, Badiou offered this crucial assessment and challenge: ‘You are at a crossroads, either you will abandon psychiatry as such or announce a new, perhaps, evental psychiatry.’ It was an accurate philosophical diagnosis!” (Di Nicola, 2017)

Bringing exiled Jungian post binary thinking into the fold of continental theory, Von Franz’s exploration of synchronicity through ancient methods of divination underscores Di Nicola’s declaration sourced in his infans solaris birthed out of the Third with the great living French philosopher: “What could be more critically relevant to a 21st century science of the mind and of human relations than a return to metaphysics?” (Di Nicola, 2017).


Badiou, Alain (2008). “Some Remarks on Marcel Duchamp”. The Symptom 9. Retrieved from: June 10, 2008. Accessed February 3, 2013.

Di Nicola, Vincenzo (2012). Trauma and Event: A Philosophical Archaeology. Doctoral dissertation, Saas-Fee, Switzerland/European Graduate School.

Di Nicola, Vincenzo (2017). “Badiou, the Event and Psychiatry”. Blog of the APA (American Philosophical Association), Accessed March 1, 2018.

Streitfeld, Lisa (2014). “Schirmacher Revolution in Saas-Fee: The Badiouan EVENT Takes For(u)m with Michael Hardt, Antonio Negri, Graham Harman and Geert Lovink”, Huffington Post,

Streitfeld, Lisa (2014). Hermeneutics of New Modernism. New York/Leipzig: Atropos Press.

Streitfeld, Lisa (2018). “The Third Mind: Badiou, Duchamp and the Autonomy of Number as the Phenomenology of a New Modernism”. Hermeneutics of New Modernism.

Roth, Remo (2012). The Return of the World Soul: Wolfgang Pauli, C.G. Jung and the Challenge of Psychophysical Reality. Pari, Italy/Pari Publishing.

Von Franz, Marie Louise (1980). On Divination and Synchronicity: The Psychology of Meaningful Chance Studies in Jungian Psychology. Toronto/Inner City Books.

Planting Faro Seeds in Little Portugal, Montreal

Eclipses have powerful effects that can take years to manifest. So experiencing a life-altering Red Moon Lunar Eclipse conjunct Mars Retrograde on my Aquarian Sun in an Algarve campground wasn’t to be illuminated until a quarter turn of the annual solar cycle…at least!

I was still on crutches recovering from my injury in s hammock and overwhelmed by the feeling of having no idea where the cosmos would carry me under such precipitous connections…

Red Moon rising in the Algarve…
…under the Lunar Eclipse in Aquarius/Leo conjunct the Red Planet on July 26, 2018

I only know that I could never have imagined Helio de Jesus Perera Maestre, who approached me in full ritual regalia complete with his seed bag dangling from the belt of his skin colored shorts just before dawn. He startled me as he made a beeline towards me with an intensity I had only known…in myself!

I was sitting on a bench at the port of Faro where I spent the night before my plane to Berlin. He charmed me with his physical grace and Scottish rogue accent. It didn’t take long to recognize a soulmate in him and I accepted his invitation to breakfast at his family home.

Helio performing under the effects of the Leo on the beach on the Praia on Isla de Faro.

The final Solar Eclipse in Leo on August 11 found me in Faro, Portugal, invited by my soul brother, Helio de Jesus (yes that is his given name!) the most unexpected and breathtaking manifestation of a Hieros Gamos partner that has manifested in full-physical form under my cosmic and world travels circumnavigating the globe and the galactic center.

Preparing the Seeds inside the Faro Medicine Wheel outside the castle.

Helio performing “9000 Seeds” under the Solar Eclipse of August 11, 2018

Due to Helio’s invitation, I missed my flight to Berlin in August 6. He found me an apartment and I fell in love with Faro. I just knew that I wanted to live there when I first arrived.

Demonstrating a love for Faro.

But fate drew me away from my heart’s desire, for I suddenly received funds to return to NYC, which I did on September 20, after spending exactly three months in Spain and Portugal.

Helio gave me a handmade bag with seeds that I attached to my purse.

But how could I have anticipated that a new love would draw me to Montreal on September 26 where I did a seed planting ritual in Little Portugal with the seeds from my pear and his bag…

The pear of Helio de Jesus’ surname Perera beneath a monument with the Portuguese flag of the four elements with the quintessential fifth, the Hieros Gamos in the center. elements with the quintessen
Planting the pear seed to catalyze the 9000 Seed Project in my new base of Quebec.
The view of the planting site under the Portuguese flag in Parc du Portugal, Montreal.

The hexagonal gazebo in Parc du Portugal representing the Hieros Gamos at the center of the Portuguese flag.
The street tribute to the Portuguese immigrants in Quebec.

“Lumen: A Love Story” from Faro

What a synchronicity! On my last posting, I predicted that Faro would be the site of a new modernism…

“289”, with its peering simultaneously into the past and future through the Kairos leap of present, a valuable international marker indicating the timing of a new modernism.

Venus & the Sun merge before the eight Apostles, representing the eight “gates” of Venus journey to and from the aunderworld.

…and it happened!

The opening night festivity to FOME took place in the walled castle of Faro originally built by the Moors in the 11th century via the “newest and most complex” performance by S.A. Marionettes.

What a sight!

This was a stunning work of alchemical theatre about the mythology of Venus, her passage through the eight gates, represented by the eight apostles, and her disappearance into the Underworld where she meets her partner, the Sun, in the mystical conjunctio. The music was so enthralling that I could really feel the pain of her departure as she turns from the union to complete her Underworld journey, from which she rises on the other side of the Sun as the Morning Star.

The performance was an embodiment of the mystical union, complete with the demonstration of the heart opening.

Scroll down to see the light…knowledge of this ancient mythology explaining the disappearance of the brightest star in the sky when she unites with the Sun!

“289” is the Dial Code of a New Modernism

It is rare, anywhere in the world, to experience the delight of an art exhibition so fully integrated into the environment that the visitor is confounded as to distinguish art from artefact, and architectural decay from nature.

Playing on such uncertainty transforming observer into participant is the sheer brilliance of “289”, a multimedia exhibition of 80 artists organised by the invited guest curator, Pedro Cabrita Reis, at the home of the local artists’ collective on the outskirts of Faro.

“289” is the area code for Faro, the capitol of the Algarve, the southernmost region of Portugal. This is not a limiting title but an inclusive gesture, because Cabrita Reis brilliantly integrates the art of the locals with better known Lisbon artists to create a national dialogue.

The image text hanging from the balconies like tapestries references the elitism of this former headquarters of the commandos who attempted to preserve Portugal’s colonial empire while the entrance is marked by a pair of clocks…

Pedro Cabral Santo’s “Featuring Félix González-Torres (the Red Hour)” striped of all but the second hand.

The visitor transforms into participant by virtue of the duality of time: Cronus, chronological time, eradicated by the removal from the clocks of all but the seconds hands, and the cyclical time of Kairos. The paradigm leap into the cycle of life/death/rebirth is provided by other clues outside the entrance: a poster size takeaway manifesto and the curator’s signature offering…

Curator Pedro Cabrita Reis’ “Objectos Encontrados (2018)” includes a patched together homemade cane from a local shepherd.

“289” adds up to one….The Red Hour.

One indicates new beginnings. The pitchfork apparatus renews the role of curator — to serve as the contemporary reaching beyond the light of the present to access ancient wisdom. This makes “289”, guest-curated by the Portuguese art star, a snapshot of his nation’s offering to the global art scene during the crucial summer of 2018.

“Memórias do Barrocal” by Vasco Marum Nascimento: a Portuguese pagan ritual offering.

Foremost is magic that renders process inexplicable: how did the curator manage to find works to superbly fit the nooks and crannies of this colonial estate? Or were works made for the spaces, indicating the exhibition as a unique exercise in collaboration?

Next is the archeology indicated by strategically placed clues indicating death. Outside is an inert figure in the garden and a kind of incinerator. Inside there is Ana Rostron’s installation of broken tombstones…

Ana Rostron’s “Untitled (2018)”

…strategically placed between Paulo Serra’s “Auto-retrato” (self-portrait) as death mask opposite Pedro Barateiros’ black mask…

…a personal/universal narrative of death leading to the skull in the final gallery…

Paulo Briguenti’s “Cobalt Prussian”

This opposes Maria José Oliveira’s uncanny “The Adventurer”, a three part image/text installation reviving the signifier of the fisherman integral to the Portuguese economy.

Tania Simões’ sensual photo of a female body in nature in a light box titled “Sacred Sex” leads the eye to the next gallery where Rui Toscano’s ancient artefact of a drummer is mirrored in a light box.

In another corner, a key work by a local street artist GAT.UNO is also the most political. It is a crude table with a place setting with a candle at the center.

“Prato del Dia” by GAT.UNO

“Prato do Dia (Plate of the Day)” sums up the plight of Portugal being integrated into the E.U and the Euro: the plate of the day at a local cost attracting tourists raising prices beyond what locals can afford.

The cannibalism of a former empire eating its own is reflected in Jorge Neve Rubene Palma Ramos’ “Interiores”, a relic of the opening night feast offering facsimiles of human body parts as entrees.

Paradoxically, Portugal is a nation once-removed from the international art world, yet with a unique geography — on the edge of Europe and gateway to Africa and the Americas— that makes it a crucial contemporary multicultural mecca between three continents. The feeling of being an explorer into a unique world of the archaic may be a rare delight for an art exhibition, yet it is a typical adventure for the traveler in Portugal.

On the roof, Fátima Mendonça’s wall drawing revives the spiral, ancient symbol of life, to signify the transformation into the Third, the archetype of the hierosgamos.

The inherent talent of the Portuguese artist to transfer an indigenous fisherman economy into an art practice of inner penetration into the archetypes is what makes “289”, with its peering simultaneously into the past and future through the Kairos leap of present, a valuable international marker indicating the timing of a new modernism.

The Quantum Leap of the Critic into the Third

Was it merely an accident that the trademark for this historic event has Marilyn above a diptych of Adam & Eve? Marilyn’s split identity — of the celebratory champagne blonde Marilyn Monroe & the brooding brunette Norma Jean — was that of the American Love Goddess resurrecting the pre-patriarchal Venus, with her two faces of the Morning & Evening Star.

The self-reflective event examining the role of the critic taking place in Museo Nacional de Arte Reina Sofia in Madrid was meant to happen in Spain.

I am sharing my optimistic perspective of a quantum shift in the art world based on five events getting considerable media dipoverage in the last 12 months.

The glorious structure of the museum itself was a proclamation of Spain’s official passage into a modernism when it opened in 1992.

The view from the external glass elevator of Reina Sofia.
Yet, strangely the modernism set against the tradition of Spanish art in the Prado where I was immersed in art history while standing before Dutch and Spanish masterworks during my junior year abroad.Spanish gatekeepers — such as Juan Manuel Boner Director Instituto Cervantes Juan Manuel Boner, collector Javier B. Martin and Pablo Jimenez Burillo, Director de la area de Cultura de la Fundacion Cultural Mapfire — holding the institutional keys of the post Franco epoch, appeared in full force to ask self-reflective questions about their own hegemonic rule…

Spanish heavyweight Jose Maria Juarranz de la Fuente (art historian, editor and gallerist) attempts to answer “What are the critical limits? Who criticises the critic?” While sitting beside Tomas Parades, President of AECA Spain.

…But where were the movers and shakers of “la movida” which made Spain politically and culturally one of the most liberated and exciting places in Europe? I learned this in Argentina in 1984, which was attempting to emulate the Spanish freedom in breaking out of their military dictatorship with a transgender aesthetic I struggled to capture as literature in my first novel, Champagne Tango.

I decided to begin my Spanish paper from a subjective view, of my teenage experience with the late night transgender scene revealed in Madrid’s hot spot — le Drugstore in 1978. A decade later, this 360 perspective progressed to my meeting the Spanish auteur Pedro Almavador on the occasion of presenting his first film, the black comedy, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (Mujeres al borde de in ataque nervios) at UCLA that would propel him to the global stage upon winning the 1988 Oscar for Best Foreign Film. I remember Pedro telling the audience that he was so involved in his creative process that he never thought about the reaction.

Pedro Almavador was the first artist I heard referencing the Third. It was a flippant response to a didactic question from the audience that provided three speculative ideas regarding Almadovar’s aesthetic strategy. While I can’t remember what the question was, his response still resonates: “All three!”

He got that right! Transgender is the Third which is why I recreate the word as construction/deconstruction: Trans/Gender sourced in a crucial and hidden icon unearthed in a formerly Turkish village, the oldest in Cyprus…

The LADY Of LEMBA is an ancient artifact expressing a bisexual deity that evolved into the Cypriot Love Goddess, KYPRIS, that continues to be repressed by the pro-Hellenism of Cyprus’ archeology, dominated by the Greeks. This is the subject of the new text by Dr Streitfeld, “The Aphrodite Coverup” by Dr. Streitfeld (pictured with responder Jesus Pedro Lorente of AECA Spain).My paper reflects the two decade journey of delivering the Aquarian cosmology of January 23, 1997 into the cultural institutions…ultimately “Reina Sofia” reflecting my new identity as “female philosopher” ruled by the love of wisdom, the meaning of the Greek term.
The certificate for the successful delivery of my paper, “The Hermeneutics of New Modernism: Hermes’ Trans/Gender Third”.

Surely this was an impulse of a new modernism sourced in the Aquarian transgender icon that we see in the Almavador film, yet where was such an aesthetic to be found in a Spanish art dominated by past masters: Picasso, Dali, Goya and El Greco?

Could the problem be — not in the art — but the critical reception by the gatekeepers torn between upholding the Spanish legacy of art and the art intent on smashing that tradition?

Carpe deim!

I seized the moment through the gap of the Third state of critical self-reflection to declare two progenitors of the hermeneutics of a New Modernism, the timing at 11:11

With the coding in the clock (the 11:11 timing reflecting the galactic center as the state of death/rebirth & therefore the final death of postmodernism & the cynical performative impulse to diminish the authentic rebirth of value), Mark Kostabi’s painting — experienced by this author in the “flesh” for the first time in a studio visit during a recent trip to New York City — can now be appreciated as the progenitor of the universal expression of the hieros gamos by way of intertwined faceless, genitalia free yet gendered forms.

Ümit İnatçı has created a visual language inspired by the ancient transgender non-binary icons unearthed on his native island of Cyprus.

Among the great deal of self-reflection on the two and a half days of panels with collectors, institutional directors and even critics, along with papers addressing the topic of criticism in crisis and renewal, there was a representative from the U.K. AICA who neatly summed up the problem of criticism in the last fifty years as that of Conceptualism!

J.J. Charlesworth of Art Review Magazine delivering “La burocratizacion del jucio: cincuenta anos de la crisis de la critica” (pictured with responder Jesus Pedro Lorente of AECA SPAIN) tracing the demise of criticism to Conceptual Art. The conceptualist practice of artists becoming their own curator/critic by way of creating self- contextualising art born not out of process but rather a mental concept. This, he said, was epitomised by the Text/image artists insistent in having the first and last word in the art itself.

A lone contribution that actually depicted art renovation in bricks and mortar was by the architect representing the Spanish innovations in the field.

Maria F. Carrascal Perez (Universidad de Sevilla) revealed the reality behind the myths of artists transforming the devastated urban landscape in New York City and highlights such efforts in her town of Sevilla, forestalled by the crisis of 2008.
Nathalia Lavigne (Universidad de São Paulo) exposed a new form of art delivery without narrative via “Cindy Sherman en el instagram: una reception critica en la era de instagramismo”.

Criticism and poetry frequently blend in the Spanish language.

The integration of poet and critic erupting at the Congress Internacional was captured by “Crisis de expresion”. This short video of Alfonso Gonzalez-Calero Gonzalez (Investigacion y Arte) depicts inner/ outer reflections of the critic flaneur expressed in a feminine voice.

The ghosts of the critical giants of the 20th century were summoned…

Ignacio Asenjo Fernandez’s “Complejidad de las practicals artisticas contemplementarios” analyzed the historical role of the critic as that of interpretation, participation, mediation, diffusion and incarnation.
Dissemination through the culture is a matter of the quantum physics of potential futures.

Then there was the demonstration of the bounty of living a life in arts: the sheer pleasure of being a critic who collects poets and artists as amistades along with works of art.

Maria Jaio Fernando (pictured wit AECA Presidente Tomas Paredes) shared her memories and interpretations of artistic expression blending with poetry in her native Portugal.

The two and a half days of reflection and discussion coming to a close, a 12:30 Roundtable on Saturday was devoted to critics: “Necessita la critica renovacion?”

Blanca Garcia Vega (Catedratica Ha de Arte, Universidad de Valladolid) is moderator for the final panel with AECA Spain critics Jose Luis Martinez Meseguer, Alfonzo de la Torre, Carmen Pollares and Maria Victoria Otero, speaking.
Blanca Garcia Vega in red follows AECA SPAIN President Tomas Paredes reading (above) the letter sent by Lisbeth Rebollo, President of the International Association of Art Critics (AICA) on the importance of the event with a closing proclamation of how remarkably little Spanish artists acceded to the world stage in the 21st century, thereby leaving bare the task of the Spanish critic.

This set the stage for an authentic renewal of art criticism, in Spain and across the globe.

Now, finally we may be able to appreciate such erotically charged art as this:

Rodin’s interpretation of the hieros gamos through his highly erotic rendition of the pieta at the Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum.

Or this…

Victor Vasarely “The Birth of Art” at the Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza transforms the cube into the hexagon, thereby resolving the dispute between Wolfgang Pauli and Carl Jung regarding the structure of the hieros gamos.

Lisa Paul Streitfeld, a member of AICA since 2000, is a roving critic and media philosopher.

Neo-Modernism as Social Realism: Nedret Sekban’s “Between Life and Death”

The monumental Nedret Sekban image first grasps the viewer from the huge poster announcing the exhibition down the street from its magnificent location — the Tophane- Amire Center of Arts and Culture in Istanbul.
An intimately engaged view (below) of a gypsy wedding from the Third space  “Between Life & Death” draws in the viewer as participant.  The bride and groom are dancing in a spiral in which the opposites — human/animal, old/young, joy/fear — are wedded into otherworldly ecstasis in which eros and magic are personified.
 Roman Dugunu (Gypsy Wedding) by  Nedret Sekban (2016)
The retrospective of Nedret Sekban, the longtime professor of painting at Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, at the majestic domed exhibition space engenders the sacred. Indeed, to look at Nedret’s self-portraits in which he miraculously captures life and death in his face, prompts the question: “Are you a Sikh?”
I had the opportunity to ask Nedret this question when he appeared in the gallery during my second visit, in the last days of 2017. He had one of the most centered and grounded spiritual presences I have ever encountered, and he replied that he is not a Sikh and neither is he an alchemist, though his works infuse the human being with the alchemical elements — fire, water, air, earth — capturing the quintessential element with his invented technique mastered in his recent masterpiece, Where are they going?, which brings the global refugee crisis that affects Turkey like few other countries, into sharp relief.
Crows are a favorite motif as nature’s messengers of death, and therefore imminent change. So are cut flowers, the bouquets which are held by so many of Nedret’s female figures. The sea is another. The power in Sekban’s sea paintings is the overwhelming pressure of waves captured through the emotional force of a controlled brush.
Estirdi Aiolos by  Nedret Sekban (2004)
The monumental wave, crows, cut flowers, fallen bodies and the sea are all metaphors for the state “between life and death” which is the Third state in which the tensions of opposites are held.
This state of the in-between is captured with the juxtaposition between bodies.
Birak Beni Uzanayim III by  Nedret Sekban (2008)
What transforms Sekban’s social realism into neo-modernism is in both his subject matter, the feminine as embodiment of cyclical time of life/death/rebirth, and his formal approaches to painting groups of human beings. In Arinma, he captures a gypsy ritual as a triangle of richly embroidered human bodies, with the shaman/priestess at the point. This human ordering, which he slyly puts into his titles ( ), convergences with geometry to transform the human into the sacred.
Arinma by  Nedret Sekban (2013)
It is a rare painter who captures the primordial feminine in a manner that grabs the viewer, forcing them into participant with the organic surrender to nature. This is evident in his works in the furthest gallery which are titled as the elements.
For example, in organizing the three women into the classical triangle shape of resurrection in the Rite of Spring, the difference is evident between the classical body conceived in the mind and contained within its perfected form and the Sekban primordial body, which extends from the Earth out into space to encompass the quintessential.
The attention to emotion in his figures recalls on a visceral level Kaethe Kollwitz, or Van Gogh.
Baslar Gece Vardiyasi by  Nedret Sekban ( 1990)
The origins are expressionist, bordering on the surreal.
Hashatun by  Nedret Sekban (1973)


Yet, the development of style — from expressionist to social realism to a neo-modernist embodiment of the opposites, the hieros gamos, reveals to a new generation how the quantum leap is made into a holistic style emanating from the painter himself: through formal arrangements of bodies on the surface, the containment of the cyclical process of life/death/rebirth through the formal elements, including an apt symbol bridging the opposites.
These are what make this Turkish treasure into a Neo-modernist revival of painting in the 21st century. Embedded in his narratives of the human condition is a plea for honoring the feminine body that is united to the earth that sustains it. Here we have a (R)evolution in art that delivers the diligent viewer into the quantum leap into participant in the profound mystery of life, a secret that is so mysterious because it contains its opposite, death.
The one who masters this space between the opposites understands truly what life is — a state of being that demands full conscious participation. Sekban told me that he has no computer or electronic gadget.
Lisa Streitfeld is a critic based in New York and Berlin.
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