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Aql-i Surkh ("The Crimson Intellect") (2016) - multi-media performance with Luis Negrón van Grieken and Ali Chakav

presented in Kunsthochschule für Medien Köln

As a form of jam-session this project takes one of Suhrawardi’s famous treatises—aql-i-sorkh—and unravels his 'theory of vision' in its mystical dimension and philosophical discourse, physical and spiritual sense of relationships between knowledge, presence, light and self.

This project engages with the luminous world of lights, angels, archetypes and the interconnected web of ideas that Shihab al-Din Suhrawardi put forward. Suhrawardi is one of the most influential figures in the history of Islamic philosophy. His writings have travelled from Syria to India few centuries after him (instrumental in making the intellectual milieu of this region receptive to the philosophy of Mulla Sadra), his influence continued in Pakistan and further in such regions as Turkey and to the west, in particular in France. Despite the existing diversity of intellectual inquiries within Islam which range from the rationalistic philosophy of the peripatetics (mashsha'is) and the intellectual intuition of the illuminationists (ishraqiyyun) to the ascetic and inner journey of the Sufis, there have been few philosophers who have made an attempt to synthesize these diverse schools of thought into a unified philosophical paradigm. Suhrawardi was a 'system builder' and like Ibn Sina he comments on various traditions of wisdom from Egyptian, Greek and Persian orders and philosophical topics, i.e.. metaphysics, ontology, epistemology, angelology, logic, etc.

Aql-i Surkh ('The Crimson Intellect') - multi-media performance with Luis Negrón van Grieken and Ali Chakav, 2016 Köln

شهاب‌الدین سهروردی – Shahāb ad-Dīn Yahya ibn Habash ibn Amirak as-Suhrawardī, the Persian philosopher-mystic (of the 6/12 century) and the founder of the “School of Illumination” (ishraq) in the tradition of Islamic philosophy.
ملا صدرا – Mulla Sadrā (c. 1571/2 – 1640) was an Iranian Shia Islamic philosopher, theologian and ‘Ālim who led the Iranian cultural renaissance in the 17th century.
فلسفه مشاء – Greek word peripatetikos (περιπατητικός) refers to the act of walking, and as an adjective, “peripatetic” is often used to mean itinerant, wandering, meandering, or walking about. After Aristotle's death, a legend arose that he was a “peripatetic” lecturer – that he walked about as he taught – and the designation Peripatetikos came to replace the original Peripatos. After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, the works of the Peripatetic school were lost to the west, but in the east they were incorporated into early Islamic philosophy, which would play a large part in the revival of Aristotle's doctrines in Europe in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.
فلسفه اشراق – Illuminationism is the oldest and most influential alternative to naturalism in the theory of mind and epistemology. It was an important feature of ancient Greek philosophy, Neoplatonism, medieval philosophy, and in particular, the Illuminationist School of Islamic philosophy.
ابن سینا – Avicenna (c. 980 – June 1037) was a Persian polymath who is regarded as one of the most significant thinkers and writers of the Islamic Golden Age.
عقل سرخ – “The Crimson Intellect” is a maze of myth and symbols from Zoroastrian, Islamic, and Sufi traditions.

© 2016 Sina Seifee Kunsthochschule für Medien Köln Made possible by the kind support of Kunsthochschule für Medien Köln