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CHRISTIAN PELECH

7600 no. 1 road Richmond, BC V7C 1T6 604.897.7766 / cpelech@eciad.ca

My favorite colour is Prussian blue. The chemical formula for an ideal Prussian blue is Fe7(CN)1814H2O. It was the colour that dislodged the regal nature of blue (ultramarine blue, developed from the rare and difficult to refine lapis lazuli) and brought it to the masses. Regality in rebellion. A prime component of the Prussian compound is ferrocyanide. The suffix of this stems from the Greek word kyanos, meaning dark blue and from this that man discovered the toxic substance known as cyanide. This salt contains the potential for both instant fatality and alchemical discovery. Despite its high toxicity and literary associations with poisoning, it is essential for the synthesis of Prussian blue. When the solution potassium ferricyanide is mixed with ammonium iron (III) citrate and exposed to UV light, iron particles are transferred and ferricyanide become ferrocyanide, out of nowhere a brilliant blue dye materializes. The process itself is celestial. This method produces what is known as a Cyanotype, becoming one of the first photographic processes and was often used in the in the scientific documentation of plant life. This process later became used in the reproduction of schematic diagrams, and it is from these newly materialized ferrocyanide dyes that these diagrams became known as blueprints. It is in between this contradiction of a document meant for enlightenment, and creation and the poisonous chemistry required to produce it that a strange sort of poetics exists. My interests lie in the intersections between art, science and religion. At one point in time these doctrines of understanding were all intrinsically linked to one another. But with various instances of conflict between the ideologies, such as the punishing Galileo Galilei (a genuinely pious Catholic) for his beliefs on heliocentrism a schism was drawn between the dogmas of theology and science. Since this divide the two have been viewed as completely separate and conflicting entities. While I myself do not prescribe to a faith I understand its significance. Theology describes the poetics of existence, but alienates contemporary findings. Conversely, my fascination with the sciences leads to complications as I feel that it often attempts to discredit the poetic with the guise of empirical certainty. My hypothesis is that when these interesections and slippages between science and theology are analyzed and used in conjuction, they have the potential to compliment one another and offer a more rounded understanding of our existence and mortality. Art is the manifested result of this investigation. Utilizing the materiality of cyanide as a starting point for my work I will be exploring projects within conventions of science, theology, as well as my personal concerns with mortality. Understanding the instable nature of the cyanotype, I have been exploring ways to systematically destroying them. In a way I am trying to give them their own mortality. The images, which will be drawn in a highly rendered fashion, will depict a hybrid of imagery developed from religious allegories, anatomical diagrams, family photos, and scientific formulas. These images will be displayed in a museological manner, one that both preserves and destroys them to a point of mere existence, leaving impressions of the original image.