The modern science of aesthetics shares the multiplicity of viewpoints on the essence, laws and nature of artistic creation. The appearance of original approaches alongside traditional ones is a natural way for human nature to develop when it seeks to answer the “eternal questions”: what is the nature of the aesthetic, what is art, and what is its purpose?
The search for new forms and new principles leads to the realisation that the modern world is witnessing the establishment of a particular type of culture in which a host of distinctive and original cultures are submitting to the laws of communication, with the dialogue and interaction proceeding along the axis of the present time, but also along the “past-future” axis.
V. Apukhtin is a well-known artist who has achieved success and glory in the sphere of creative activity that he has chosen. At present, he is engaged in the study of philosophical and aesthetic problems pertaining to the artistic assimilation of the world, which are formulated in his course of practical studies under the general title of “Design of the Spirit” within the programme “The Genetic Memory is the Internet of the Noosphere”. The course is the product of a synthesis of theory and practice. It gives an idea of the phenomenon of creativity and shows how to visualise one’s own experiences and become aware of oneself as a part of the cultural space. The practical result of the course leads to an optimisation of creative activity and the gaining of inner freedom, and paves the way for creative endeavour. Apukhtin also created the concept of the “ACADEMIA MAGIC ART” ®, based on the principles of “art for spiritual healing” or Spiritual Heal Art” (SHA).
To reveal the essence of the SHA method, the artist tries to answer a number of theoretical questions: what is art, and what place do image, sign, symbol and myth have in the history of cultures? The problem of the genesis of art, the search for the prime cause, is virtually the most difficult question for the investigator, since any beginning is relative. It is itself the consequence of previous development, a link in the endless chain of evolution. The origin of life and the human species is not seen as a single act of creation or appearance. Similarly, the origin of culture is the result of a lengthy process, a link in the chain of change. Culture and civilisation, in the broad sense, are made up of knowledge, beliefs, customs, morality and art.
Apukhtin thinks that, “at the genetic level, modern man possesses, at birth, a lexicon of all the signs and symbols about the universe that have been created. He lives, as it were, in a gigantic library in which all the spiritual experience of mankind is collected. The problem is how to learn to use this huge volume of information.”
By exploring the world through images, graphic art has amassed a vast experience of self-awareness that is comprehensible only to a narrow circle of art specialists. To understand and enjoy art, spiritual preparation is needed, as well as a knowledge of the elementary rules and laws whereby it is created. This gives rise to a profound contradiction between the artists, who offer the world high-quality works of art, and the public at large, who are not always capable of appreciating that art. The recipient, i.e. the person who views the art, is usually just a passive consumer of a work of art.
How is this contradiction to be resolved? Apukhtin proposes an original method for briefly “immersing” the individual in an atmosphere of artistic experience and practice in accordance with a particular algorithm. Primarily, this involves removing the mental stereotypes that block creative activity. One frequently encounters the statement “I can’t draw.” This actually conceals the following message: “I can’t draw”, for the man in the street, means the inability to create “lifelike” pictures. Painting something so that it resembles “real life” is most people’s criterion for skill and art. It is as well to recall that it was the desire to create something “lifelike” that prompted ancient man to take the path of artistic cognition and reflecting the world as an inevitable process of mounting the evolutionary ladder from feeling towards perceiving and finally representing as the highest form of abstraction – from “recognising” towards “naming” and then towards penetrating the essence of the object of study. Apukhtin calls one of his methods the “theatre of the painting of accomplished wishes”. It is based on the fact that “creative endeavour is the act of creating a ‘new reality’. Empathy with the product of creation is an act of communion, acceptance, amassing and enrichment of personal spiritual experience and, as a result, paving the way for the wish to create and empathise with any creative practice.
“Creating means revealing oneself. Revealing oneself means correlating one’s own spiritual structures with such categories as:
- “God – Spirit – Man”
- “Man – Earth – the Universe”
- “Man – Man”
- “Man – Man’s inner world”.”Creative endeavour has to be seen, in this context, as a philosophical category. Any suppression of a person’s overall aspiration to ‘reveal himself’ or the impossibility of realising the wish to create is, at best, a foundation for neurosis.”
The “theatre of the painting of accomplished wishes” is “the creation of a stage production” on a particular subject in which the person wishing to create – let’s call him the “dilettante” – and the Art instructor, who helps him to accomplish this wish, take part. The Art instructor’s task is to:
- formulate the problem jointly,
- invite the “dilettante” wishing to create into the system of coordinates on the scale of the Universe,
- create a dramatic art about the mythological space (via dialogue, verbally),
- initiate the “dilettante” into the lexicon of fine art, i.e. help him to switch from verbal images to visual representations,
- create an Art-product that will show the “dilettante” that he can “create, i.e. reveal. Revealing oneself means creating”.
This method of ART therapy enables anyone to be initiated into such processes as:
- the artistic assimilation of the world,
- becoming aware of himself as a part of the cultural space,
- creative endeavour as the way to self-improvement.The value of the method is that harmony is created within the individual between his conscious and subconscious, and the conflict between the present and what is desired is removed. The person transfers the problem from the psychic to the artistic field. He uses the fantastic wealth of the range of colour and shape to visualise his suppressed wishes. People who have a practical course within the “ACADEMIA MAGIC ART” ® system say that “they have begun to understand the language of fine art better, and that a new world of symbols, hitherto forgotten, has opened up for them”.
Hence the conclusion: “semiosis” (i.e. the invention of signs and operations using them) does not come into being each time ab initio, but develops on the basis of what there is already. An archaic culture does not disappear without trace. It is transformed into myths, folklore and the deep-seated “archetypes” of the human psyche.
The method of productive suggestion is based on the fact that a person remembers everything about himself, about his species and about the collective spiritual experience of all mankind and, as a result, creates a figurative artistic product that is an original account of the dialogue between the individual and the artistic experience of mankind. A person is thus able to realise himself, plumb his hidden potential, see himself in a new capacity and become familiar with the language of fine art. After all, the lexicon of fine art possesses a wonderful feature that makes it possible to convey a vast range of intonations and emotional experiences. In fact, the number of eternal themes and subjects is far smaller than the emotionally coloured experiences concerning these themes. “Revealing oneself through the interpretation of eternal themes is the motto of any creator.”
The world of Apukhtin’s creative endeavour is a kind of mythological suite based on the subjects “Man – Universe”, “God is light” and “Biblical stories” executed in painting, drawing, sculpture and the plastics of small shapes. In his painting canvases (“The Lexicon of the Universe”, “The Sign”, “The Spiritual Gates”), the viewer is presented with an immense range of perception – from intellectual supermeditations and multidimensional images to musical-poetic associations. Apukhtin’s philosophical reflections on Biblical subjects were embodied in the sculptural monument “God is light”, erected in the German town of Gummersbach. The sculptural composition is based on words from Chapter 12 of “The Revelation of St John the Divine”:
1. “And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars:
2. “And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.”
The monument is a new, original reading of the myth of the creation of the world. At the base of the composition is a cube as the symbol of an abstract model of the universe. If one looks at the composition from above, one can clearly see that the design is a square bounded by a circle bisected by a white strip. The square is the symbol of the body, the circle is the symbol of the spirit, while the division of the square into two parts signifies the two principles of day and night, light and dark. The words “pained to be delivered” mean for Apukhtin “the birth of a new idea”. He handles them by original plastic means: he depicts the Virgin and Christ, who seems to be inside her. Around the Virgin is a sun-like essence, which means the union of the male and female principles, the union of reason and feeling, Sun and Moon. The correlation of the parts of the sculpture has a strict proportionality, in which the deep philosophical meaning, symbolising Harmony and Perfection, is hidden. The monument “God is light” is an attempt to combine the rational and the emotional, feelings and mathematical laws in a complex spatial and plastic structure.
The philosophical and creative concept “ACADEMIA MAGIC ART” ® enables Apukhtin to attain the virtually impossible – to work at the wonderful but fragile boundary between the concrete and the abstract, to initiate people into the secrets of fine art and to make them empathise, enter into a creative resonance with the artist and understand the fundamentals of being. The method extends the frontiers of aesthetic possibilities and promotes the creation of a new requirement: “Creating means revealing oneself.”
Author: Leyla Jurayeva