Conception of Perseus – Abduction of Persephone

authors Krunoslav Ivanišin, Lulzim Kabashi
project Staka House, Zagreb, Croatia
written by Krunoslav Ivanišin


To grasp a beautiful thing or some difficult idea – language clearly pronounces the hand–to–reason connection. In the world of things, this connection manifests itself in a HANDPRINT that a humble craftsman leaves on a handy mud brick, or that a great artist leaves in a perfect block of Carrara marble. In the transition from essence towards presence, they leave traces, thus uncovering the thingness of things: their purpose, shape and matter. The mythical lord of shadows and the underworld lurks from the interior of a cave and comes into the light briefly, only to abduct the beautiful Persephone. His strong grasp leaves a shadow on her white flesh, made known by the hand of Gian Lorenzo Bernini. Taking a second look into the whiteness through Sir Isaac Newton’s prism, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe found colour exactly in this area of diffraction between shadow and light (cave and glade; twilight at dawn and morning shine). Hence, he realized that colour is produced from the light, as much as by the thing itself on which the light falls – a property of its material and a consequence of its shape.The lord of sky and thunder from whom nothing can be hidden becomes a SHOWER OF GOLD and enters the beautiful princess’ hidden chamber from above, to turn her dark prison into a pleasant place. Persephone’s brother Perseus, the ideal hero who fights the darkness, is born out of this mythical discovery of space – the divine arrangement.

Along with the divine arrangement, it was exactly the spatial sense which allowed Johannes Kepler to glance into depths of space and clearly see the motion of celestial bodies. In his vision, the planetary orbits did not simply occur in a dark void governed by mysterious gravitation forces. They are the consequence of the immaterial species which the solar body emanates, rotating as if on a lathe, analogous to the immaterial species of its light. Rotating itself, this species carries the bodies of the planets within its strong grasp. In architectural terms, space is more than the volume of air enclosed within a chamber and lit from above. It is also the species (form, image, kind, surface, semblance, emanation, spectacle, atmosphere) of the building – the THINGNESS and the quintessence of architecture.