Dr Gindi is one of Switzerland’s foremost sculptors. Known for her bronzes that often feel chimerical yet seem eerie at times, Dr Gindi, in her search for the infinite, is seeking to render the real conjectural and the conjectural real. Her work powerfully registers the phenomenological states of being and becoming in which we are suspended. In this article, she shares her reflections on immortality from a very personal perspective.
As we advance through life, random incidents and unexpected events sometimes pull us away from the stream of activities that comprise our everyday existence. These pauses offer us moments of reprieve from the myriad of distractions vying for our attention as well as possibilities for reflection on not only what is happening in the instant but also what has transpired and what lies in store. In my sculpture Transfigured Immortality (2020), the regal woman reclining on her final resting place is engrossed in such a moment of contemplation. Unclad but for her striking headdress reminiscent of the goddess Nefertiti, the female nude leans against a small-scale model of a pyramid, a reference to the monumental tombs in which mummified Egyptian pharaohs were laid to rest. Representing the divine and death respectively, these accoutrements anchor her in the ancient past, on one level suggesting autobiographical heritage but more importantly signaling the continuity of the common human condition we share across time and geography. In our collective consciousness, time ceases to be perceived as linear, collapsing past, present and future.
Blending physical repose and active mental acuity, Transfigured Immortality embodies the process of grappling with the eternal questions that sentient beings face concerning the meaning and purpose of life. Her knowing countenance and expressive hand gestures convey a lively mind engaged with the existential dimensions of the here and now and pondering future possibility. Part of the series “Integuments of Existence,” the sculpture captures this quest for glimpses of the unknown dimensions which interconnect us with the infinite universe. A lodestar for my approach, the majestic figure presides over my sculptural practice and heralds the subsequent series—“Fluidity of Being,” “Fractured Reality,” and “Finding Ways,” each of which explores our shared existential dilemma from a different perspective, examining the paths that can deviate from or lead to infinity.
Informed by the eternal questions of origin and destiny, the sculptures that comprise “Fluidity of Being” appear to be afloat in the universe, suspended in a transitional state. Held aloft by invisible forces, the beings are in the process of becoming and transcending notions of time and space. On the other hand, the rough surfaces and distorted bodily forms that make up “Fractured Reality” convey the torment and paralyzing emotions that prevent us from gaining access to infinity. Mired in misery, they are blind to the self-inflicted patterns in which they are ensnared. In contrast, the series “Finding Ways” includes figures who display the resilience to rise above their suffering and thrive rather than succumb to their woes. In their materiality, all of these bronzes evoke the broad spectrum of experience, regardless of the stage they occupy in the process of developing consciousness and reaching immortality. Even the array of patinas on the outer surfaces—ranging from deep green to rusty brown, golden to copper-tinged burnt siena—express the variety of human moods and sensibilities. Together, these sculptures offer variations on the human condition, its trials and tribulations, and the pursuit of a meaningful life in all of its complexities.
The serene and self-assured woman in Transfigured Immortality thus crystallizes our multifaceted and limitless potential. A beacon of light and a model of transcendence, she gestures to us, her intense gaze enjoining us to overcome space, time, and the fear of death. Conjuring the universal figure of the goddess across cultures and time periods, Transfigured Immortality exudes the power of transformation within us all. A metaphor for my sculptural practice, she is modeling the infinity of our exist.