Gordius catalogue design
The reason why the metaphor of the Gordian Knot is so powerful is that one can easily grasp the idea that an intricate knot of cornel bark did not only exist in legends but it was there for all to see and feel in the city of Gordium. Legend has it that the actual knot was sliced in half by Alexander the Great’s single sword-stroke. For more than two millennia people have been wondering how sharp Alexander’s sword might have been, what trick had been used to tuck the ends of the cornel bark inside, and how it had remained intact for centuries along with the ox-cart. So future generations are captivated by material and technical questions and at first glance, copying the knot constitutes a problem like that. Can we fashion a replica of the ancient structure using steam-bent beech planks, metal screws and laminated wood? Can we re-create an object that legends kept alive but also shrouded in the mists of time? Péter Nemes sees the Gordian knot as a sculptural problem, which can raise a material/technical question as well as a theoretical one. How far does one have to go in flexibility and complexity to make a cluster of objects appear as a knot? How long can you keep the wood material-like? And when does all this cross the sculptor’s boundary? Or to put it another way: does this boundary exist at all? It is possible that the knot is not actually a visible and tangible piece but a metaphorical object made up of the matching, winding, tangled theoretical and practical questions of sculpting. These problems create the serious but at the same time ironic, tangible and conceptual contraption of which the sculpture as an object is only a three dimensional snapshot. In this case sculptor and viewer do not see the work as a solution but rather as a riddle.