Mathematical equation, hidden in Brâncusi’s Triptych from Târgu-Jiu


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by Cristian Horgos

The largest exhibition of works made by Constantin Brâncuşi, from Romania in the last 50 years, will be able to be seen in Timisoara. The event is organized by the European Capital of Culture Program and will be hosted, between September 30, 2023 and January 28, 2024, by the Timișoara National Art Museum.

In this context, perhaps it is worth taking into account a possible answer to the Brancuși quote related to the three mega-sculptures in the center of the city of Târgu-Jiu: “You don’t know what I leave you here”. Because the arithmetic hidden by Brâncuși puts the famous architectural ensemble in a new light.

Thus, according to Wikipedia: The Table of Silence (“Masa Tacerii”) is 0.45 + 0.45 meters high = 0.9 meters, the Kissing Gate (“Poarta Sarutului”) is 5.13 meters high and the Infinity Column is 29.35 meters high. The square of 5.13 is equal to the product of 0.9 and 29.35. In other words, the Table of Silence / Kissing Gate and Kissing Gate / Infinity Column (“Coloana Infinitului”) are the same mathematical ratios, taking into account the heights of these works of art. It is very unlikely to be a simple coincidence down to the level of tenths, so the only option left is that Brâncuși followed this equation but without making it public.

On the other hand, this geometric-focal identity mirrors a physical law of optics. Which can be correlated, naturally, with the fact that Brâncusi was a luminous creator, whose masterful birds always turned towards the sun.

In addition, in the book “Brâncuși or how the turtle learned to fly”, the writer and poet Moni Stănilă captures the master from Hobita as a tough man, who liked to play puzzles.

“Brâncusi is now making a philosophy of life out of confusing people, in order to understand what material they are made of,” warns Moni Stănilă.

So what would be the meaning of the riddle from Târgu Jiu? Here are the clues: moved to Paris, Brâncusi was close to the sources of quantum mechanics.

So it would not be excluded that his monumental triplet from Târgu-Jiu can be seen as a huge model of the legendary micro-experiment launched by the physicist Thomas Young, but substantiated by the French duke Louise de Broglie, a contemporary of Brâncuși.

The Column of Infinity (“Coloana Infinitului”), seen as an undulating succession of “beads” directed toward the luminous sun, may represent the photon. In addition to the suggestion of a trajectory, the shape of the Column formed by the “beads” dear to Brâncuși, also includes the undulating aspect, i.e. precisely what Louise de Broglie postulated as the basis of quantum physics.

The Gate of the Kiss (“Poarta Sarutului”) is the double slit from Thomas Young’s experiment, i.e. the gates through which the piece of matter or the photon must pass in order to reveal its undulatory character. Once again Brâncusi seems to have been a puzzle, because, calling it and giving it the appearance of a Gate with a single wide opening, it disguises the pair of slits, in fact, the carved kisses. And the fact that the double slits are also narrow is exactly the idea of the quantum experiment.

Finally, the Table of Silence (“Masa Tacerii”) is the image of the decomposition, of the “fraying” of the micro-particle during the mysterious passage through the double slit. This is in the conditions where it is well known in quantum mechanics that the micro-particle passed through two slits will be “stuffed”, very strange, but mandatory. However, the Table of Silence seems to suggest a vision, on a grand scale, of the structure of the atom.

Brâncusi’s inclination towards the depths of matter, light and essences in general was part of the inner structure of the artist.

“Those who say about my works that they are abstract are imbeciles; what they call abstract is the purest realism, because reality is not represented by the external form, but by the idea behind it, by the essence of things. I sanded the material to find out the continuous line. And when I found that I could not find it, I stopped; as if someone unseen came across my hands“, Brâncuși explained his effort to reach the boundaries of micro-matter.

Contemporary with “God does not play dice”, Einstein’s famous anti-quantum quote, Brâncusi had his own vision of divinity and the apple of knowledge. That is, Brâncuși interfered between his own creeds: “To create like a God” and “We can never reach God, but the courage to travel towards Him remains important”.

Triptych* (DEX): “Ensemble composed of three painted, engraved or carved panels (hinged so that the sides overlap the middle one), containing sacred scenes and figures of saints, gods, etc. or names of founders, lords, etc.”

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