The No-Eyes Viewing Wall is currently dormant. An update will be posted on the front page when there is a new work in preparation!
About the No-Eyes Viewing Wall:
Each of us must make his own true way, and when we do, that way will express the universal way. – Shunryu Suzuki
The central practice in Zen Buddhism is called “wall sitting.” One sits in silent meditation, facing a blank wall, for minutes, hours, or even days at a time. While Brooklyn Zen Center offers many such walls for sitting, one wall is different. The No-Eyes Viewing Wall is a space where artists are invited to exhibit and work for a period of two to three months, and where, at each viewing, the artists and sangha (Buddhist community), as well as the public, engage in a discussion or activity that explores the creative experience. Like other Zen walls, the No-Eyes Viewing Wall is a place to explore the mind.
Art and Zen are related methods of mind-research. To engage fully in either practice, we must make a sustained effort to focus the mind, so that over time, the meditation or the creative process acts as a mind-mirror: the work shows us who we are. Years of practicing Zen or making art peels back layers of past conditioning, allowing old assumptions that no longer address the present moment to drop away. Strong practice may herald the arrival of a more awake, focused “zone,” which artists often experience as a state of mind without self-doubt: action is immediate, paintings paint themselves, and not-knowing is exhilarating rather than scary. The No-Eyes Viewing Wall is a site of not-knowing; it’s an invitation to the many creative discoveries that are possible when one leaves knowing behind. In this spirit, the No-Eyes Viewing Wall promotes artistic collaboration that can take an artist beyond the conception of a singular creator—“I”—to a place of limitless dialogue and connection.
Zen is a physical practice: we try to sit still and upright, to stay awake and to notice little changes in the body. Artists, too, must practice a physical discipline by engaging fully and actively with materials and working painstakingly with the logic of the concrete world. Being in the art zone means that our senses are tuned to act and interact with openness and precision. It may mean that the hand grips the brush in just the right way, and the body dances nearly effortlessly with wood, plastic, paint, metal or video. Art objects document this dance with their many surprising qualities, and like a beautifully honed bell, their presence in the Zen Center inspires people who come to sit. The works stay on the wall for a few months, where they become an important part of the still, silent, and limitless space.