CITATIONS             DICTIO
THE TEMPLE OF SVETOVID/SWANTEVIT

Is a project inspired by the last heathen temple of the ancient Slavs, which was located in the town of Arkona on Rugen Island and was destroyed in 1168.
The project is based on Arconian traditions and historical descriptions of the temple, including:

Saxo:
" In the center of the town there is an open square, amid which rises a wooden temple of finest work, venerated not only for the magnificence of its architecture, but for the grandeur of the God to which an idol was installed. The outward walls are sparkling with bas-reliefes of various figures of high art work luridly and brutally painted..."


G. Glinka:
""Öthe twelve gates were locked with copper bars. On these copper gates the twelve deeds of the famous Kind God were represented:
- for the use of naked people he produced a ram who at the same moment rushed to them to offer its fleece;
- pacifying an untamable bull and giving it to people as a servant, he invented for them a plough and all the agricultural implementsÖ"


These descriptions appear to parallel the signs of Zodiac.
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    –”—— »…

"The imagination is important both to the artist and to the spectator."
                                                                
Ruffino Tamayo


The artist, Sergey Mantserev (www.toms-art.ru) believes that the bas-reliefs probably had a cosmological basis. But the project is not a reconstruction or illustration of the temple. Rather, it consists of 12 two-meter canvases depicting the Zodiac in fragments of broken bas-reliefes brutally painted.

People of modern understanding cannot see the ancient world through the eyes of ancient people, no matter how carefully they attempt to recreate the belief systems, kinship patterns and economic lives of our ancestors.

This is why the artist imagines the pictures not as historical objects but as mysterious fragments in the mind of a shaman who is trying to hand over sacred knowledge, symbols and signs to future generations. The author's goal is to reproduce not the aesthetics of the temple, but its energy on a visceral level.

The exhibition will include other works of painting and sculpture by this artist on the same theme.
E-mail:sergei@toms-art.ru