Strange math has been permuting the American psyche since the September 11th attacks. Perhaps in an attempt to rationalize deep-seated uncertainty, Americans have been conjuring formulas involving the tragedy's numerology. You know, September is the ninth month and nine plus one plus one equals eleven. American Airlines Flight 11, the first to slam into the towers, had 92 passengers (nine plus two is eleven). The twin towers resembled a huge eleven ... and so on. For many people these numbers have been a post-traumatic comfort food for the mind.
New York artist Nelson Diaz has also been working on some numbers related to the disaster. His studio was just eight blocks from ground zero; he escaped the toxic city and returned to his old neighborhood near Wynwood, attempting to make something positive out of a terrible shared experience. The result: a one-night art exhibit, "Out of the Ruins: The Wall in a Non-Euclidean Geometry." Taking place September 10 at the abandoned RC Cola factory, the show pays tribute to the wounded nation and the victims and survivors of 9/11.
Diaz claims his paintings are based on a "Non-Euclidean" mathematical system, which "pertains to an entirely new set of structures and imaginary numbers that do not pertain to this world."
The objective: transcend the physical realm and connect on a more spiritual level. The factory's gutted landscape was perfect, Diaz says, because the layers of concrete walls and rubble refer to the terrorist destruction. His paintings and frescoes express infinite space and as he puts it, "the now of the moment and the whole enchilada."
Okay, we believe him. If you suck at math, don't be intimidated. The exhibit promises to be a one-of-a-kind art affair in a funky post-apocalyptic setting. And you still may have fun with the fashionistas, hipsters, and homosexualists who frequent openings in Miami.
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