Lolita Asil: The Unfolding Of The Cosmic Order Through Seven Colors

Lolita Asil’s works, probing the natural correspondences between human and cosmic orders, make a primary statement which all viewers should be able to agree upon: absolute beauty opens its doors only to an equally absolute creative effort. Humankind can grasp the essence of the order of things, which has its own unerring laws of motion, only through a constant elucidation of basic, but still intricate, numerical and nanometric relations. Lolita Asil is aware of the fact that an idea of cosmic order, which does not assume an active human involvement, is utterly devoid of meaning. She places herself (as an artist, the human being as agent) at the centre of all, and while starting to analyze the order of things, also acknowledges the privileged position of the individual in this analysis.

Lolita Asil seeks nothing less than a pure truth which is as harmonious as a pendulum swinging under zero friction, and at the same time, with an insistence all her own, tries to decipher this search itself-which, in a sense, means that she aims at essential beauty, or at things which have beauty as their essence. But we should also bear in mind that harmony – the rhythm resulting from the diverse unity of many separate and different parts-is not confined to beauty alone. Just as a cancerous cell is absorbed by the others, just as a system balances itself with its own opposites, so the cosmic order, going on its way through internal reactions, includes not only beauty, but also certain negative tersions and constrictions (or contractions). To be sure, what Asil really seeks is that spontaneous harmony which nature attains by perpetually synchronizing itself. Nevertheless, Asil gives the primacy of place to positive values (such as love) reflecting her inner world, as if suggesting that such an orientation makes art function perfectly. From the “unerring human metabolism” (her own words) to the greater cosmic order, everything works with a decipherable and analyzable mathematical pattern. The slightest failure in one (or, at once) could ruin the whole chime. Just as a sundial is useless without a light radiating sun, so the momentary standstill in the system would harm the whole energy that sustains the reaction.

Lolita Asil’s belief in the balance (or perhaps, correspondence) of spirit and nature is also related to the principle of utmost faith in the miraculous capacity of science to uncover everything. Thinking that science, just like art, constantly renews itself through an irrevocable symmetry and balance, the artist wishes to show how art is deeply intermingled with science, each one complementing the other in a “unity of cell-human-universe” (her own words again). After all, a person can extend her/his knowledge of the universe beyond the immediate datum of her/his own organic existence (and Lolita Asil’s works incorporate important insights on the human body) only by relying on such a cooperation, thus to know the boundaries that separate or do not separate her /him from the world. Therefore, while seeing herself as essentially a part of all creation, science, directed by reason, should everywhere be at the individual’s service (or, disposal). But here we should at once remind ourselves that what Asil has in mind is not a science which interferes with and harms the natural functioning of the cosmic order, a science bent on destruction; on the contrary, hers is a constructive conception of science which assumes that everything functions with a wonderful energy when it is in perfect order. A corollary of this conception is the view that theory and daily practice are essentially interrelated, thus making it possible to point out the amazing harmony present in even the most ephemeral things.

Just as scientific efforts that do not have an enabling preparatory work behind them are doomed to become dogmatic, an artist with an inadequate intellectual education cannot but make a poor start. Well aware of this, Asil complements the philosophy she has made her own with detailed research on light as the source of life. She personally shapes and further develops the alternatives offered by science. She establishes the link between life and the seven colors marvellously hidden inside white light. In addition, with a scale of her own, she goes on to demonstrate the presence of all seven colors in everything from the smallest cell to the “sun which lengthens and shortens our shadows.” One should observe that Asil’s concept of color – and she has patiently analyzed all colors down to their finest shades – stems primarily from the capacity of the viewer to perceive what is offered to him or her. Thus, the concord of contrasting or neighboring colors is very important for her, valuable in itself without any other consideration. Likewise, her preferred sequences of seven colors do not parallel the natural sequence in a rainbow. Hers consists of bold expressions of an entirely inner or emotional order. Gradually, also making use of the perspective-creating effects of colour, Asil forces the limits of illusion of the sense of sight and transposes to the flat surface of the canvas the already existing balance and unity between science, man and universe. In this effort, the artist has taken as her models everything ranging from  microscopically-magnified images of cell structure to the spinal cord that sustains human metabolism, or from a stone decomposed into crystals to the sun as the source of seven colors.

Lastly, we should note that Asil has a singularly assiduous attitude towards nature: She wants to catch everything in its moment of coming to be, or in its moment of change; but rather than expressing what she feels and observes in a short reflexive moment, she patiently extends it to the longest span of time possible.

Lolita Asil seeks nothing less than a pure truth which is as harmonious as a pendulum swinging under zero friction, and at the same time, with an insistence all her own, tries to decipher this search itself-which, in a sense, means that she aims at essential beauty, or at things which have beauty as their essence. But we should also bear in mind that harmony – the rhythm resulting from the diverse unity of many separate and different parts-is not confined to beauty alone. Just as a cancerous cell is absorbed by the others, just as a system balances itself with its own opposites, so the cosmic order, going on its way through internal reactions, includes not only beauty, but also certain negative tersions and constrictions (or contractions). To be sure, what Asil really seeks is that spontaneous harmony which nature attains by perpetually synchronizing itself. Nevertheless, Asil gives the primacy of place to positive values (such as love) reflecting her inner world, as if suggesting that such an orientation makes art function perfectly. From the “unerring human metabolism” (her own words) to the greater cosmic order, everything works with a decipherable and analyzable mathematical pattern. The slightest failure in one (or, at once) could ruin the whole chime. Just as a sundial is useless without a light radiating sun, so the momentary standstill in the system would harm the whole energy that sustains the reaction.

Lolita Asil’s belief in the balance (or perhaps, correspondence) of spirit and nature is also related to the principle of utmost faith in the miraculous capacity of science to uncover everything. Thinking that science, just like art, constantly renews itself through an irrevocable symmetry and balance, the artist wishes to show how art is deeply intermingled with science, each one complementing the other in a “unity of cell-human-universe” (her own words again). After all, a person can extend her/his knowledge of the universe beyond the immediate datum of her/his own organic existence (and Lolita Asil’s works incorporate important insights on the human body) only by relying on such a cooperation, thus to know the boundaries that separate or do not separate her /him from the world. Therefore, while seeing herself as essentially a part of all creation, science, directed by reason, should everywhere be at the individual’s service (or, disposal). But here we should at once remind ourselves that what Asil has in mind is not a science which interferes with and harms the natural functioning of the cosmic order, a science bent on destruction; on the contrary, hers is a constructive conception of science which assumes that everything functions with a wonderful energy when it is in perfect order. A corollary of this conception is the view that theory and daily practice are essentially interrelated, thus making it possible to point out the amazing harmony present in even the most ephemeral things.

Just as scientific efforts that do not have an enabling preparatory work behind them are doomed to become dogmatic, an artist with an inadequate intellectual education cannot but make a poor start. Well aware of this, Asil complements the philosophy she has made her own with detailed research on light as the source of life. She personally shapes and further develops the alternatives offered by science. She establishes the link between life and the seven colors marvellously hidden inside white light. In addition, with a scale of her own, she goes on to demonstrate the presence of all seven colors in everything from the smallest cell to the “sun which lengthens and shortens our shadows.” One should observe that Asil’s concept of color – and she has patiently analyzed all colors down to their finest shades – stems primarily from the capacity of the viewer to perceive what is offered to him or her. Thus, the concord of contrasting or neighboring colors is very important for her, valuable in itself without any other consideration. Likewise, her preferred sequences of seven colors do not parallel the natural sequence in a rainbow. Hers consists of bold expressions of an entirely inner or emotional order. Gradually, also making use of the perspective-creating effects of colour, Asil forces the limits of illusion of the sense of sight and transposes to the flat surface of the canvas the already existing balance and unity between science, man and universe. In this effort, the artist has taken as her models everything ranging from  microscopically-magnified images of cell structure to the spinal cord that sustains human metabolism, or from a stone decomposed into crystals to the sun as the source of seven colors.

Lastly, we should note that Asil has a singularly assiduous attitude towards nature: She wants to catch everything in its moment of coming to be, or in its moment of change; but rather than expressing what she feels and observes in a short reflexive moment, she patiently extends it to the longest span of time possible.

LEVENT Çalıkoğlu
February ’98

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