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Suzanne Treister THUTOAH (Op Art)

The Holographic Universe Theory of Art History (THUTOAH), 2018

Single-channel video (16:54 mins) with sound (51:16 mins); 21 giclée prints (each 210 x 297 mm)

Suzanne Treister’s work engages with eccentric narratives and unconventional bodies of research to reveal structures that bind power, identity and knowledge. In The Holographic Universe Theory of Art History (THUTOAH), she investigates the holographic universe principle –the theory that our universe could be a vast and complex hologram– and hypothesises that, beyond acknowledged art historical contexts and imperatives, artists may have also been unconsciously attempting to describe the holographic nature of the universe.

Projecting over 25,000 chronological images from art history (from cave painting to global contemporary art, including outsider and psychedelic art), Treister’s video work echoes conceptually the actions of CERN's particle accelerator, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), accelerating at 25 images per second in a looped sequence. Alongside this colossal library of images is a soundtrack of interviews with, and watercolours by, the scientists at CERN which aim at describing the holographic universe principle.

THUTOAH hypothesises a reality that has perhaps been intuited over the ages, a reality beyond the already documented intentional depictions of spiritual, mystical or transcendent realities or altered states of consciousness; the reality of the holographic nature of the universe.

Courtesy of the artist and Annely Juda Fine Art, London and P.P.O.W., New York. This work was developed as part of the Collide International Award, a partnership programme between Arts at CERN and FACT, and was co-produced by ScANNER.

Suzanne Treister would like to thank everyone involved in the Collide International Award and exhibition, in particular Mónica Bello, José-Carlos Mariátegui and the participating scientists at CERN, and very special thanks to Joasia Krysa for her initial crucial involvement and inspirational presence.