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"5-65" (lingua latina)

USD 2500


Canvas in stretcher, 70х70 cm (27.56” x 27.56”)



Kyiv, 2012.


Magic square 5x5 is matrix of whole numbers from 1 to 25 situated in the manner that its horizontal, vertical sums are the same and equal to 65. According to mechanics of celestial spheres this 5x5 square corresponds to the sphere of Mars. It is quite interesting to notice that Roman Empire, one of the most warlike states in human history and believed to be “patroned” by Mars, used Latin alphabet having 5 x 5 = 25 letters.


This concurrence encouraged creation of image titled “5 – 65” (lingua latina). The matrix here is depicted by the set of cubic blocks their faces bearing numbers from 1 to 25, relevant Latin letters and symbols of things which have their names beginning from the respective letters.


Such sets of blocks are widely spread and used to introduce the world of signs, symbols and numbers to children, as well as to show the connection between the symbols and the things. In this respect, arithmism addresses the fundamentals of development of human psychic which depends very much on establishment of this connection. After all, humans learn to speak and to count only after this connection is “placed”.


Latin language is one of semiotic systems which, owing to its omnitude, has long been and still is important for historically significant cultural contacts and exchanges. Thus, given set of blocks symbolizes this semiotic system, a certain matrix of cultural interaction between Pax Romana and Pax Barbaricum – “roman” and “barbarian” worlds – the interaction which has to considerable extent produced modern Europe and set up various historic contexts for European nations.  


Inclination of the background’s subspace, as well as its color palette, in a way reminds of a map, or a view of Earth’s surface from certain altitude and at specific angle. Gradual transition from warm, mainly yellowish and sometimes reddish tones, to ochroid and then – more cool yellow-green shades resembles and symbolizes the zone of cultural interface between Pax Romana and Pax Barbaricum. Colors of the blocks’ faces contrast the background, and at the same time amplify it. Perspective of the blocks is intentionally distorted a little bit, which at fleet glance results in impression that they are not fixed at their positions and could be even in a slight motion. Sight angle was chosen to make the lower left blocks seem as if they come closer to the spectator, inviting him to take part in amusive game.


Latin letters, their numbers and relevant words:


1.    A – auca – goose

2.    B – bocagium – food for animals (acorns), coming from trees

3.    C – ciffus – bowl

4.    D – degradus – stairs

5.    E – ecclesia – church

6.    F – familia – family

7.    G – galeam – helmet

8.    H – homo – man

9.    I – ignis – fire

10.  J – jaculum – javelin, throwing dart

11.  K – karetta – cart

12.  L – lacerta – lizard

13.  M – mulier – woman

14.  N – navis – naval ship

15.  O – ostium – door

16.  P – pirum – pear

17.  Q – quarterium – a quarter, ¼ part

18.  R – rota – wheel

19.  S – serpens – serpent

20.  T – tympanum – drum

21.  U – urbs – city

22.  V – villa – villa

23.  X – xiphias – swordfish

24.  Y – ydor – water jar

25.  Z – zucheus – stub