[Seven by Nine Squares home page] [The Neoist Path]

Flaming Steam Iron, The

Monty Cantsin, 1986
The flaming steam iron is not a difficult symbol to understand: In fact, its use by the Neoists seems comically simplistic. When painting his self-portrait in 1523, Francesco Parmigianino used as a model the reflection of his own face in the curved metal of the iron in order to paint the iron as an allegory of the melancholic temperament. Burning its surface suggests a destruction or change within this allegory: The glue used to make the iron burn creates the paradox of fluctuant self-identity while the iron, an absent reflector which is both outside and inside the painting, becomes static and immaterial. The glue and the iron remain invisible images.

What Parmigianino and the flaming iron seem to suggest is a denial of "equivalence" as a principle of signification, or, the impossibility to 'name' a 'thing.' To suggest that two things cannot be likened is to change the basis of consciousness towards a non-viability of the human condition. When someone declares themself a Neoist, this means a positive refusal of the polarity between "same" and "different"; anything is anything.

The cosmology of Neoism is based on the house of nine squares. Kafka said, " Anything you can learn, you can learn without ever going outside, without ever leaving your room." This is early Neoist thinking. The Neoist is the eternal traveller in the house of nine squares, a house which can never be left since it has no doors and seems to reflect itself internally. When two or more Neoists meet, their mobile psychical homes form " Akademgorod", the promised land of Neoism.