The Mystery and the WonderPosted: December 20, 2013
The Mystery and the Wonder, diagram, dimentions variable – Mario Asef © 2007
The Mystery of Achilles
The city of Byzantium, founded by Greek colonists in the 7th century BC was to form the nucleus of one of the greatest centre of civilization in the history of mankind.
The ancient authors refer to a number of important buildings but their form and location remain unspecified. According to them the city house the famous Baths of Achilles, located immediately adjacent to the Strategion.
In the Zeno paradox of Achilles and the Tortoise, we imagine the Greek hero Achilles in a footrace with the plodding reptile. Because he is such a fast runner, Achilles graciously allows the tortoise a head start of a 100 feet. The tortoise runns in 1sec time 1/10 of the distance Achilles do. So, the footrace stars and Achilles runns the 100 feet. In this time the tortoise runns 10 feet. Achilles runns that 10 feet and the tortoise runns 1 feet. Achilles runns that feet and the tortoise 0.1 feet and so on never-ending. Achilles can never overtake the tortoise.
We have to remark that, to make this footrace possible, the participants have to reduce their own size becoming smaller and smaller untill de-materializing themselfs.
It is told that up to this days Achilles is still runnig his footrace against the tortoise in an endlessly small Byzantium.
The Wonder of Dolmabahçe
The famous painter Melling visited Istanbul during the reign of Sultan Mahmut II and the wooden palace is represented in many of his prints. After Mahmut II, Sultan Abdülmecit came to stay at the palace. He ordered to be rebuilt in a western fashion between 1843 and 1856. For this purpose Abdülmecit took a credit of 3.500 Kurus, enough to buy paper and ink to print 3.500.000 Kurus to pay the built of the palace.
Dolmabahçe actually means ‘the filled garden’. The Palace is built on land reclaimed from the Bosphorus, hence its name and its materialization appears from the abstract world of infinit numbers became money and transfered into stones and handcraft to finaly built a building in our presence.
The Mystery and the Wonder, installation view – Mario Asef © 2007