Zero (LE MAT) English

Tlapatsí Technique
82 x 45 cm.

(Private Collection)


The following is an iconographic guide that serves as a first approach to the interpretation of the work, it does fully conscious of the fact that the author does not own the definitive meaning nor the last word regarding the content of the work; So the present text does not exhaust the significant and interpretative possibilities of the painting in question.


Tarot de Marsella. Arcano sin número, Le MatThis piece has a rich symbolism that we can begin to interpret with the recognition of its title: Le Mat, the first of the major arcana of the Tarot —not number one — in the same way that the card XIII does not have a name (Which has not prevented the identification of XIII in posterior Tarot decks with The Death). So Le Mat doesn’t have a number, but it allows us to theoretically assign it the 0.

Zero was not completely unknown in the West, but the connotations of its existence made it a dangerous concept. Since in its deepest aspect zero is not a number, nor the simple absence of one, it is an ambivalent concept half-way between infinity and emptiness. If our universe is the result of an asymmetry (matter/antimatter) zero is the state of the earlier equilibrium, and represents eternity before creation.Plus, if we consider that nothingness and eternity are the poles on what orbits the most important questions that mankind does to itself, we can begin to understand the theoretical suspicion that zero had suffered, which takes, beyond of simple mathematics, mystical and metaphysical connotations. For if zero is potential eternity, the undifferentiated totality, one can perceive in it the closeness to the divine, the eternity in its timeless repose.

With the guidance of the meaning of the title of this work, one can interpret the image of a mask maker surrounded by his works. Those mask encompasses the divinities and spiritual beings of the whole world, in other words, the masks of God. The character who appears as a demiurge (The divinity that creates and harmonizes the universe, the universal soul, the active principle of the world.) The image is that of the creator who hides in infinite disguises.

Several mythological characters can be found represented in the masks, not only of the ancient myths, but also of the contemporary ones. The myriad of masks that surrounds the central character is an analogy to the infinite, the presentation of the various possibilities in potency, and although the action of identifying each mask brings this closer to the card II Le Bateleur (The magician), the differentiated and identified totality; that lecture requires the action of the distinction and the categorization of reality, while in the image the character creates the masks, does not use them, besides in the tarot, Le Mat signifies: Total Freedom, Madness, Disorder, Chaos and the fundamental creative impulse, so this card is the origin of the Joker of the modern cards decks, The Joker can represent all the other cards at will without identifying with any of them. The demiurge as the fractal construct of the divine in potency.

Zero (LE MAT) Detalle
Zero (LE MAT) Detalle

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