THE OCTAVE OF VISIBLE LIGHT: A MEDITATION NIGHTCLUB
“Lia Chavez’s bravura performance.” — Image Journal
Lia Chavez's earliest performance work has a bare and austere quality that is underlined by the rigorous appropriation of cross-cultural contemplative disciplines which aid in calibrating the artist as a resonate instrument of insight and inspiration.
“Deploying her consciousness as an artistic material, she offers her flesh as a conduit or mirror, a prism refracting light.” — The Other Journal
For Chavez, the study of creative genesis is an all-encompassing fascination. True Light was a decidedly devotional endurance performance lasting for three months. The performance was the first of many occasions Chavez has utilized her body as a living laboratory for investigating creative genesis. The artist fasted for ninety days broken into a trinity of thirty-day units, each with a different focus: thirty days of prayer, followed by thirty days of meditation, followed by thirty days of silence. This methodical process of self-imposed deprivation was designed to cleanse the artist’s perception and connect her with the inner source of creativity.
Relating to her ongoing preoccupation with the theme of illumination and the roles that light and darkness play in human perception, the performance title derives from an inscription upon the world's first Gothic architectural masterpiece, St. Denis in Paris, made by Abbot Suger, the 12th Century father of Gothic architecture.
Bright is the noble work; but, being nobly bright, the work should brighten the minds, so that they may travel, through the true lights, to the True Light...The dull mind rises to truth through that which is material and, in seeing this light, is resurrected from its former submersion. — Suger
Throughout True Light, Chavez experienced expansions of her natural perception, and her encounters with superconscious optical perception, in particular, served as a major turning point for the artist which marked her scientific research into the phenomenology of light. Alongside this, the performance established her creative process forthrightly on a contemplative trajectory. Today, the artist’s grounding in the contemplative factors heavily into her creative process, affording her participation in a rich discourse at the intersection of human consciousness, embodiment, and devotion.