Monument to Euclid
Felippe Moraes’ new work Monument to Euclid pays homage to the Greek mathematician by inscribing in stones his definitions of basic geometric entities like the point, the line and the surface. The stones are placed in a circle evoking the ancient Neolithic temples.
Brazilian artist Felippe Moraes’ most recent work, Monument to Euclid, pays homage to the homonymous Greek mathematician, author of The Elements, the basic postulate of geometry for more than two millennia. The work is constituted by 8 rough Kliwa sandstones arbitrarily sectioned to create plane surfaces, functioning as a metaphor towards the simplification of reality proposed by Euclidian geometry. In the same way, each of the stones have engraved in their surfaces the book’s first definitions of geometric entities such as the point, the line and the plane.
These powerful quotes from the book stand in the frontier of being either profoundly poetic or unavoidably objective. The first citation “A point is that which has no part” is a good example of the tension between subject and object proposed by the work. At the same moment that it is defining the point as this elementary entity of geometric thought, it is also characterizing something that is absolutely intangible.
By positioning the stones in a circle, they relate directly to Neolithic temples, such as Stonehenge in Britain, which were some of the first architectures developed by humans to deal with the transcendental, at the same moment relating to very basic rational understandings of the surrounding world like harvests and the change of seasons. Such as those, that in general had some relation with star alignments or celestial events such as the solstices and equinoxes, the stones of Monument to Euclid are aligned with the cardinal points. In this way, it is put as a landmark to relate to the entire planet Earth and the cosmos as a whole.
The work is permanently placed inside a forest in the city of Slanic Moldova, in the Region of Bacau in Romenia. It was constructed during the art residency In Context – Slanic Moldova in the summer of 2017. The work was made with 8 tons of kliwa sandtones that are typical of the region and were extracted from a local quarry, employing the work of local miners and craftsmen.