“Liminality (Neither Here Nor There)”

aleXander hirka (photography and digital montage)

40″x40″ – on display at Center Camp, Burning Man 2011
Rites of Passage, Aug 29 – Sept 5, Black Rock City, Nevada

> click twice (click/pause/click) on image to enlarge <

•  High quality giclée prints of this piece are now available HERE

The Ritual of Crossing Over.
Standing at the Border.
On the Verge, at the Brink, on the Cusp.

Putting it On The Line.

On the threshold, At the gate, Amidst a revolving door.
An Entrance from which to look at the Not-Yet-Future  – A Portal from which to view the Fading Past.


Liminality (from the Latin word līmen, meaning “a threshold”) is a psychological, neurological, or metaphysical subjective state, conscious or unconscious, of being on the “threshold” of or between two different existential planes, as defined in neurological psychology (a “liminal state”) and in anthropological theories of ritual.


As developed by Arnold van Gennep (and later Victor Turner), the term is used to “refer to in-between situations and conditions that are characterized by the dislocation of established structures, the reversal of hierarchies, and uncertainty regarding the continuity of tradition and future outcomes”.  Although initially developed as a means to analyze the middle stage in ritual passages, it is “now considered by some to be a master concept in the social and political sciences writ large”. In this sense, it is very useful when studying “events or situations that involve the dissolution of order, but which are also formative of institutions and structures.”
It is particularly useful as a tool for analyzing both contemporary events and problems, and for analyzing and comparing various historical periods.


My photo-montage, “Liminality (Neither Here Nor There)” on display at Center Camp, Burning Man 2011, Aug 29 – Sept 5, Black Rock City, Nevada.
(The theme for this year’s event was Rites of Passage.)

I left a small book for people to write any thoughts regarding the work.
Below are the comments shared.


Beautifully intricate.


Amazing! I will return to this one throughout the week.

Striking!  Fun, thoughtful and sweet. Thank you.

Absolutely fucking beautiful, a surreal feast.

You are a talent!!!

In a league all its own – Remarkable . . . Insightful – You deserve anything you want or don’t want. . . You are Talent with a capital T.

This piece is amazing! Thank you so much!

This is stunning!


This anthropologist who met Edith Turner (Victor’s wife) love’s this work you’ve created! Here’s to riding the edges!


Wow Wow Wow!  This just transports me inside layers of world. It’s beautifully made. Astonishing.

Art like Woah!

Very nice!

Way to go!

Fucking amazing.

Beautiful, Amazing! Thank you.

Fun! Fun! Fun! I would buy a poster!!!

When the ground disappears and you ought to learn how to ride the waves.

Stunningly beautiful!


Very complex yet relaxing and insightful! Thank you!

A trip in itself. Thanks.

Mahalo for expressing the syncronicity that connects us all.


Wow . . . I keep coming back. . . to look again. . .from different angles. . .seeing it differently every time. Thank you.

I see you in your work – the mark of a true artist.

Liminal > Like an elevator.

I had to stop and look closer – beautiful! Thanks.

Beautiful syncronicity aleXander. Thank you for the definition, expression, focus and centering.

I could look at this for eternity! Beautiful.

Beautiful and engaging!

Gracia aleXander por esta co posición, porece qu me levate mis pensanientos. Desos y alerazos\

Love it.

A journey – truly a journey. You are a gifted Seer.

I hope one way I can be as brave as you!

Extraordinary vision.

Loveliness. Reminds me of those artful reflective heights.

You fucking rock!!! Ya You! Soo dope!

The best piece of 2D art on the playa. I invite you to write me. I’d like to interview you for my Doctoral Study regarding your experience in Art and Art Education.

Thank you for sharing your amazing talent with us, I really enjoyed this piece.

Very very cool stuff. Thank you for your work, vision, etc.

Awesome! Creative.

Thank you for helping me see in different abstracts! Love it.


Very cool – I looked at it for a long time!

Speaks to my life. Love your work and love you!


Love the use of colors and shapes.

I was trying to find out what liminality really meant and your piece helped in the
process of understanding.

I’ve been wondering all week what ‘liminal’ means. Thank you for showing me. Beautiful.

I recently (this year) came across this world “liminality” when writing my thesis on transformative art – I downed it in Dante’s writings regarding the rite of passage into the secondary half of life. I am currently experiencing liminality – your work especially the gate doors and windows move me.

Thank you for sharing your amazing art with all of us.

Thank you – my first burn – I’ll have a pic of your work to remember!

Very engaging. . . Like Life at it’s Best.

Thank you for sharing your exceptional visions.

Very Salvador Dali-esque.

Beautiful perfect work. Brings reality of separations of one world  – and the world of no reality with all connections alive.

One of my faves!

How beautiful the soul that stands at the gate with arms wide.
Pulls your eyesight this way and that way. Amazing! Thank you for sharing.

Very Good! Plus plus plus.

Beautiful work!

I would classify this painting as: 1 Cool as shit. 2. Straight up awesome. Thanks!!

Maya Maya Maya.

Very confused, but think it’s a beautiful piece!

I am from Burlington, Vermont, and spotting Noah* in this montage totally blew my away.  Just sent him a postcard from Black Rock City. Absolutely loving this piece. Every time I look at it I see something fresh and new.
*[my son]



What we have here . . . creative beauty.


Thanks aleXander for this composition – it appears that you can read my mind. Kisses and hugs.
(translated from Spanish:  Gracias, aleXander, por esta composicion, parece que me *lereste mis pensandantes* (?!) Bezos y abrazos)