Chess Symbolism and the Alchemical Marriage
Orryelle will be performing live at Trans- States, using voice and violin with loop and FX pedals in conjunction with the screening of his new Alchemical Chess film. The actual Alchemical Chess set (crafted of bronze, glass and clay) he will be using in the performance will also be on exhibit for closer inspection. Orryelle will introduce the concepts and symbolism involved in a brief talk preceding the performance.
There is a lot of Alchemical and Magical symbolism inherent in the game of Chess. It is my intent to bring out these esoteric undertones, and by making them more extant also transform the game itself and its metaphorical context in relation to our civilisation. It seems that modern western chess has become primarily a game of war -it is based on strategies derived from battles and is highly competitive. It does however have deep philosophical subtexts and was originally devised in India by a sage to give a king new insight into the profundities underlying social roles and interactions. The form of the game and many of the pieces has changed considerably since then. Here I aim not to change it back, rather return some of the magical symbolism but within a western as well as eastern esoteric context. The most obvious parallel between the game of chess and the quest of Alchemy is that it deals with opposites and duality, and ultimately transcendence thereof. What I discovered when applying alchemical symbolism to the set is that it transforms into a game of Love rather than a game of War. In alchemy the aim is to unite rather than conquer opposites, so all the dualities in the game are resolved and dissolved in sacred Conjunctio.
Orryelle Defenestrate-Bascule is an esoteric artist in many media, including painting, writing, sculpture, sound, video and performance art. His ‘Tela Quadrivium’ series of alchemical art books are published by Fulgur Limited (Conjunctio 2008, Coagula 2010, Solve 2011, Distillatio June 2015); his text-based book ‘Time Fate and Spider Magic’ by Avalonia Books (UK), and The Book of Kaos Tarot (iNSPiRALink.Multimedia Press); in addition to contributions to several esoteric collections and journals such as XVI (Scarlet Imprint), Mandragora (Scarlet Imprint), Abraxas 2 CD (Fulgur), Atua (Fulgur), Hekate: Her Sacred Fires (Avalonia), Fenris Wolf #8 (Edda, imminent).
He is the writer-director of Australian-based Metamorphic Ritual Theatre Company (www.crossroads.wild.net.au/morph.htm) who have presented many major original productions based in (and updating/mutating) various ancient mythos, and he often performs (solo and with others) and exhibits internationally (UK, Belgium, Australia, USA, Italy, Norway, Austria…), and has given several presentations at the Esoteric Book Conference in Seattle.
His work engages with connecting the subconscious and conscious through employment of magical and mythical symbols and archetypes, as a part of the vanguard of current resurgence in esoteric arts balanced between the conceptual and the aesthetic.