Antlitz des Paradieses
An artistic research on the cartographic discourse of the early Enlightenment with an actively vagrant mode of reading and nomadic examination of forms of a self-produced “geography” of writing that emerged in 17th century and its ideological materials in the works of Adam Olearius. This work is Inspired by Elio Brancaforte’s critical delivery of the travels of Adam Olearius in his book “Visions of Persia.”
With Adam Olearius, the German scholar and cartographer of the 17th century, we are at an imaginary space, a self-possessed individual, and a rhetorical device, ekphrasis: description, and excess of mastery. Built in 1664 under the cartographic enterprises of Duke Frederick III of Schleswig-Holstein-Gottorf: Olearius’s famous Globe of Gottorf (a Ptolemaic-Aristotelian machinery of large spheres with astrological and mythological symbols on its inside and outside) creates an effect of totality, of having engineered a world through its own labors, linked to a graphic construction of the self. Fixed to an illusion of a geographic truth, self become autonomous, his “national” subjectivity attached to the geographies that it is both mapping and describing (the book of others, in his case: the Persian “natives” and “nature”).