Angkor Mandela Series
This project expands on the idea of how tourism affects the spiritual experience of the temples of Angkor. Antal Gabelics wanted to explore the interrelation of traditional past and developing present at Angkor, and question what they mean for the future of this historical and sacred site. Originally reserved for religious activities, these structures are now some of the greatest tourist attractions in the world.
Antal Gabelics wanted to find a format which could reflect a complex situation and tell his experiences visually. The work has two separate but very closely related components. The first is an art installation where timelapse-looped videos meld the experience of tourism at Angkor into surreal, kaleidoscopic sequences in which the frenetic activity of backpack-toting tourists passes like the shadows of ever-moving clouds over the weathered, ancient stones.
The second component is a selection of high quality digital photographs inspired by the symmetry of Theravada Buddhist mandalas. Mandalas are spiritual and ritual symbols in Hinduism and Buddhism, the representation of the universe. In various traditions, mandalas may be employed for focusing attention of practitioners and adepts, as a spiritual guidance tool, for establishing a sacred space and as a help to meditation and trance induction. These images are trying to re-create the other-worldly presence of these monumental buildings and remind the viewer of their ethereal beauty and their religious purpose.