Door: Xul Solar
“WITH DREAMS OF REFORMING AND perfecting the universe, Argentine artist Xul Solar invented two languages, a spiritual form of chess, a modified piano, and painted works based on his own blend of cosmic mysticism. … Xul Solar also invented and modified games to fit his new rules for the universe. With soccer, he asked: “Why play with only one ball, and not with three or four, and divide the field into six or twelve parallel sectors, like in rugby, and each player wear a shirt with different letters so that words and phrases are formed?” Pan Chess, his spiritual and complex version of chess, was played on a 13×13 board instead of 8×8 and had constantly changing rules based in the Pan-Lengua language. The rules could at once be a collection of music notes, a dictionary for the creation of new languages, and a way to ask “What are we playing?”
A chess board in “Xul Solar and Jorge Luis Borges: The Art of Friendship,” 2013. Courtesy the America Society.