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But cosmology is a peculiar beast. On the one hand, it has evolved into science of consequence, accomplished by observations, data analysis and numerical methods, and on the other hand, it contains philosophical assumptions that are not always of scientific nature. It is precisely the latter that have preoccupied the visual and cognitive mind of Simon Shemov. These philosophical problems have always played a crucial role in cosmology; for example, are we at the centre of the universe and even in Einstein’s earliest days, the question whether the universe is static or is it evolving? Is there only one universe? Of course, the consistency of one model does not exclude the possibilities of other alternative models. What can we possibly find out from a statistical analysis of a single data point? What is immediately distinctive? Due to the existence of horizons, the universe can be observed only through or in the framework of our past light cone. A typical question in cosmology is: Why is the universe so smooth? Does the consequent explanation have to be “generic” (in terms of the possible initial conditions), or can its distinctiveness lead to a possible explanation? Certain questions have initiated various dialectics and disciplines: what is the origin of the universe? What is its primary cause (if any)? Is its existence necessary? (monism, pantheism, emanation and creationism); what are the final material components of the universe? (mechanism, dynamics, hylomorphism, atomism); what is the ultimate cause (if any) of the existence of the universe? Does the cosmos have an objective? (teleology); Does the existence of consciousness play a role in the existence of reality? How have we come to learn what we know about the entirety of the universe? Can the cosmological reasoning uncover metaphysical truths? (epistemology)… Certainly, the universe as a specifically abstract (scientific and philosophical) space and the understanding of it provide many angles of interpretation, and for Shemov, the exploration of its pores results in the latest cycle of pieces, drawings, paintings, installations-objects “Multiverse”, in which the artist poses the same above outlined discourses.

Through Shemov’s work, the world (gr. cosmos) should be seen and understood as a compound of all the things that can be perceived or are perceived by us. If we venture to discover the world through are senses, we can refer to it as a “reasonable world” (mondo sensibile, monde sensible, Sinnenvelt); but since it is constituted by corporeal elements, we can thus refer to it as “corporeal world”. Regardless of whether the bodies are inanimate or living beings (who have a soul), they have four characteristics, namely: expansion, activity, space and time. This is how the “substance” of the universe is determined which is observed from different perspectives (similar to parallel worlds, just like Shemov suggests and subsequently initiates a discussion in his pieces): in the universe and/or the Earth.[5]

All these above mentioned issues and questions lead to a single problem, also referred to a cosmological problem and questions about the world; this question is generally part of the question about reality that explores the world, man and God (Creator) and Shemov’s interest also travels in this triad, who in his artwork uses a straightforward artistic language to explore the Big Bang, the supernova, universes, multiverses, galaxies, black holes, dark matter, dark energy, particles that formulate bodies and matter, extension, spaciousness, speed, movement, etc.

Then how can we not ponder the relativity of things that we think we know about (learned or experienced) especially since David N. Spergel, the theoretical astrophysicist has described cosmology as “historical science” because “when we look out in space, we look back in time” due to the finite nature of the speed of lights.[6] Are we talking about parallel world, dreams, a projection; what are we witnessing as reality from the present perspective? For Shemov, these tangled webs are of fundamental consequence, and on top of that, drifting along the general, of everything, all things complex, he manages to draw analogies in the mystical, supernatural, metaphysical, religious but also in tradition which in multiple ways overlaps with cosmology, through its diverse astrophysical, religious or mythological, philosophical, historical perspectives of delving into the origins of the universe. 

And the last piece of the triad – man, as an apparent and dimensionally minor component in an infinite universe, considers himself as a superior being, thus providing an unfortunate contribution (egocentrically and capitalistically orientated) towards the ever more realistic debris of ecological systems and Earth’s balance, and practically beyond. In terms of the position of man in this triadic relationship, Marcus Aurelius had stated: “He who does not know what the world is, does not know where he is. And he who does not know for what purpose the world exists, does not know who he is, nor what the world is”.[7]

[5] Dominador N. Marcaida, Jr. “COSMOLOGY (Philosophy of Nature)”. (Translated from the Latin book of Di Napoli, Joannes: Manuale Philosophiae ad usum Seminarium, Liber I, “Introductio Generalis – Logica.

– Cosmologia,” Marietti Editori Ltd.: Rome, Italy, 1953). August 1997. 1-2. (98) Cosmology | Dominador N Marcaida Jr. – [accessed 26.7.2023].

[6] Spergel, David N. “Cosmology Today”Daedalus (2014). 14 (4): 125–133. doi:10.1162/DAED_a_00312S2CID 57568214.

[7] The Project Gutenberg eBook of The Thoughts of The Emperor Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, by George Long. [accessed on 26.7.2023]

AuthorAna Frangovska
2023-10-01T12:01:18+00:00 September 9th, 2023|Categories: Exhibition, Gallery, Blesok no. 151|Comments Off on ALL THE TIME IS NOW