Temple (2014-2015)


Man is inclined to look for light in the midst of darkness. It is a search for a linchpin, a sense of security when confronted with nothing. Upon entering Mark Justiniani’s exhibits, sources of subtle light emanates through. It is an inner luminesce that is neither imposing or blinding, yet succeeds in fighting the darkness that threatens to devour it. 

“Temple” juxtaposes two contrasting perceptions of infinities and origins in one space. On one side, prominently seen upon turning from the corner entrance, is the corridor of a cathedral that is meticulously and delicately fabricated. A composite of the different cathedrals known of their grandiose designs, it does not allude to any particular church to allow a general association with places of worship. The hallway looks endless, an eternity that references the very teachings and beliefs housed in such spaces.


Directly linked behind this is a replica of the Large Hadron Collider, the most powerful atom accelerator and the biggest man-made machine in the world. It is based in Geneva, Switzerland and was created to test the theories of particle physics, particularly with its search for the Higgs boson or the god particle and the smallest of particles that make up everything we perceive. At the center, a boundless tunnel faces viewers, suggesting the infinite experimentation and testing done by science.


The illusory nature of the work remains faithful to man’s ongoing quest for certainty. Some prefer to lean towards religion and its exacting rules and histories, while others prefer to be bound in science’s continuous struggle for answers. The piece has no solution or resolution. Its engagement is in the dialogue, an acknowledgement of man’s existential endeavor to find anchors wherever possible. 

Both sides are still being made. The cathedral is a re-construction, while the Hadron collider is in the phase of construction. Although oftentimes pitted against each other, given the numerous political and ethical issues smeared over both sides, humanity and its needs persist to be at its roots. As man lives and breathes, so does his grapple for truth. Consciously or unconsciously, this grounding makes up for the most mundane and the most serious of our daily decisions. 

The light in Mark Justiniani’s work is quiet and soft. It does not aim to shock or thrust people in seeing. It is an invitation to discern. That perhaps through a play in what we see, our perception of the world may slightly quiver.

 Iris Ferrer