122, я иду с мечем, судия

122, 2017-02, я иду с мечем, судия (“I come with sword, the judge”), oil on linen, 60 x 90″ (148 x 228cm) (detail, 2)

The protagonist of this Map Room might be Brünnhilde, where the central challenge is profoundly protagorean (viz., “Man [or woman, or Brünnhilde] is the measure of all things.”). Over the shieldmaiden’s head, figuratively and literally, are the ascending steps of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs on one side and Kohlberg’s Hierarchy of Moral development on the other. The floor is a forced perspective illusion of orthogonality between values, human ethical and aesthetic, shades of gray, values being what we stand upon. “Я иду с мечем, судия” is a Russian palindrome for, “I come with sword, the judge”. She weighs compassion against honor with consumable or ever-changing quantities.

The Steps are mostly my own poor Russian translations/interpretations— like an Old World map of what we don’t know. The steps are as follows:

6: превосходство— transcendence —>  универсальный— universal

5: актуализация— actualization —> освобождение— dispensation

4: почтение— esteem —> закон— the law

3: социалные— social —> взаимность— reciprocation

2: экзистенциальный— existential —> наслаждение— delectation

1: физиологические— physiological —> сохранение— preservation