Synesthesia is the absolute reality. Synesthesia is to see the form, and not just the thing. To see the form is to see the truth.

Synesthesia is not a mere combination of sensory experiences, accumulated by discursive thinking. It precedes experience – even more, it is pre-experience, it is realitas a priori. The word itself (together-experiencing) should, primarily, be read as a state of inherent unity before the emanation of forms commences – and only secondarily as a later assemblage of heterogeneous form-appearances.

Thus, synesthesia is not the product of human imagination, but the natural, inherent state of matter – a matter which does not differ from mind in essence, but only in appearance. And this appearance is, in turn, a product of imagination. The serpent bites its own tail. The riddle of synesthesia is no other riddle than that of the sphinx: to solve it is to look into the reality of  universal human experience.

Without any imagination, there is no matter and the cosmos is empty; but with a misguided imagination, matter appears as an obstacle, a burden, a non-reality, or – most tragically – ugliness. Synesthesia is knowing that no manifest matter, not a piece of concrete from a junkyard, can be ugly. Not even dispensable or superfluous.

The mystagogue we need here is a synaesthetician – a master of synesthesia. It is the duty of the synaesthetician to restore matter – coping with the lack of any prefabricated ideal, in an alchemical process whose goal is, in the end, the process itself. Balázs Csizik is taking (or accepting) this role in his Synesthesia series.


Acting as an apt alchemist, Csizik in his Synesthesia opens up and makes graspable the pseudo-dualism of matter and mind, along with their re-solution. On the one hand, there are the bondages of matter. Tied-down (fettered?) pieces of concrete (the neutral matter par excellence, the emblematically modern material). Is matter the captor or the captive? It is both. The captor of eternal forms (as Plotinus puts it, “moment by moment, the instability of matter captures one form after another”), and the captive of the corrupted cosmos of our false imagination. The false (i.e., not synesthetically guided) imaginative activity is what renders the socialist housing blocks to appear as dystopian mementos of their own dysfunction, rather than a collective, manifest suprafunctional utopia they were meant to realize. However, it’s the very essence of mind to never really be absent – and the synaesthetician has to conjure an appropriate appearance by making the spirit of the building ascend as a colourful, abstract bird, leaving the gray and soulless material hull behind. “If you would have the kernel, you must break the husk.” – says Meister Eckhart.

It is only by willingly introducing a chasm that the unity of reality, the secret of synesthesia can be revealed. But we must be careful about retaining a link between the two edges of the abyss, enabling reunification. What is this link here? The real mystery is to recognize the obvious: the link is exactly that thing which appears as such. The bonding tie. A blue ribbon around a gray concrete pile (a gift of our imagination) – a color transition emerging from the gray concrete house, denoting imaginative ascension. Fetters are freedom, and freedom is fetters.

But the synesthetic process cannot end in a dichotomy. On the newest pictures, both the concrete and the belt (the matter and the spiritual link) transfigures: the piece of concrete is now a real, tangible object. It enters the gallery space, it permeates the imaginative space, from material reality upwards. And the linking chain is now a belt of light, dividing the concrete into a lower and an upper, a spiritual and a material reality. Light is the first form, and it takes back all forms to their origin. Light is true synesthesia.

Synesthesia now becomes synthesis. While the inherent quality of those synergies is the same, their modality is fundamentally different: synesthesia is the passive state of being found in unity, synthesis is the active, imaginative realization of unity. Synesthesia is form without forms, synthesis is reaching a form beyond forms – which is synesthesia again. The work of the synaesthetician is fulfilled.