7. Chrystoa and the Blitz of "big Art"


Joe Thomson, Artist, 03.29.2013, P1 of 1


The Stoa Poikile (Painted Porch) is a two storey colonnade on the north side of the Ancient Agora of Athens to where the post-Socratic philosopher, Zeno of Critium, in Cyprus, came in 320 BC to introduce his ethical ideas on human virtue that would become to be known in the civilized world as "Stoicism".


The early injunctions that Stoicism came to represent included these following tenets:


1. Pursuit of personal virtue
2. Endurance of suffering
3. Belief in Nature ruled by Law
4. Existence of an immaterial soul
5. Detachment in the conduct of life


The first systematic accounts and compilation of ancient texts on Stoicism were collected by the writer Chryssipus, 280-207BC, but these works, lost to time, have not survived. The honorific reminder of his contribution to the preservation of Stoic philosophy is re-lived in the title given to the "Painted Porch" of the 21st century, namely "The Chystoa".


The Blitz of Art that plays its prominent role in the fashioning of the 21st century revitalization of the modern Chystoa adds to the accumulating richness of the human pursuit of knowledge, health and happiness that the Stoicism of the Ancient Greeks intended to inform and stimulate the social mind.


One irony is that the art collage "Return of all Knowledge", which alludes to the 21st century figure receiving an ancient text, cannot apply to Chrysippas since there are no texts from him that can be returned! His "Chrystoa" then can serve to be the witness to the fragility and vagary of the human recollection of memory of the historical record.


The newly minted, 21st century Chrystoa is seen to be primarily a secular, mind-centered awareness of visual perceptions, personal thoughts and feelings, speech and language expressions and referential texts. This is the foundation given to the "Primacy of the Image" that is the source of the vitality of the new Chrystoa. Perhaps, the physical building of a "Painted Porch" colonnade will come to be. The participation of each individual may become, in time, the knowledge vendor to another neighbor.


There is also an evolving clarity in this pursuit of knowledge, theologically speaking, in a sanctuary that is called "the Christoa", within this secular colonnade we call "Chrystoa", after Chryssipus. This is the ever-unfolding, ever-revealing nature of the living truth with which the minds of Art and Philosophy actively, consistently and continually collide with intellectual and albeit, stoical passion and rigor.