Image: Rhett Hammerton

endless (2020)
Kinly Grey

Commissioned for IMA’s initiative Making Art Work, and co-produced by Brisbane Festival, endless illuminated the facade of the Greek Orthodox Church of St George in South Brisbane. Viewers were invited to gather at the Highgate Hill park to view the work approximately 800m away.

Listen to the artist in discussion with Dimitri Mavromati, Head Chanter at the Greek Orthodox Church of St George, and IMA Director Liz Nowell.

It’s been a shitty day. One of those days where it all gets to you.
I need some space, my house is driving me up the wall.
I need to be alone. I call three friends and my mum and no one answers.
I go up to the hill.
There, so it appears, everyone has my idea. The hill is covered in ones and twos, sitting equidistant apart, patterning the grass, all facing North.
Looking out, over the evening city.

Is the horizon endless?
Could you say that everything eventually ends? And in saying that, does that make ends, themselves, endless?
Does it make you feel better?
Semantics isn’t everything, but it’s the house that meaning built.
So if you’re looking for him, it’s a good place to start.

end implies some void on the other side, right? Some absence, or otherness.
Is endless, then, a double negative?
Surely, it’s defined by what it isn’t, by what it is without, lacking.
In theology, this apophasis is used to combat the limits of language in singing limitless God.
To speak only of the divine in terms of what it is not.
Because what it is is ungraspable, unfixed, unformed, un-understandable, unknowable, infinite.

They say that’s why Adam’s finger doesn’t touch God’s in the Sistine Chapel.
Because one can never touch, with thought, or language, the All that is. Don’t get bogged down!
If you’re feeling irreverent, all this could be said for a great many things.
Abstraction, desire, death, dreams.
Remember when Muñoz told us about queerness as horizon, not yet here, always becoming?
A horizon of possibility he said. Always just out of reach.

It sucks that we can’t touch.
Oceans, borders, restrictions, contagions. A lot can fit in the space between us.
Our negative is endless! Rejoice!
That means there’s always room for possibility to depress us.

The adjective, transcendent, approaches meaning via positiva.
It comes from the Latin trans (across) scandere (climb)
, like end, gives us a spatial blank. Like in scrabble, the blank is what you want it to be.
Climb across voids, transcend bodies, straddle a black hole.
One foot in the sinking void, the other in the future.

So, lament the distance between the end of your flesh sack and mine
But be buoyed by the gap between our fingers.
Space is a shelter that lets us survive definition – the only death that’s final.
oh, here
endless night.

—Kinly Grey, 2020

Image: Rhett Hammerton
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