From the train windows along the beach, one can see trees that are leafless except for these odd spheres that are lively green. When I was a child, since that was the area that storks flew above, I believed that they were their nests. In medieval times that was a common belief that song birds come from the bushes, mostly sage. In recent years I have learned that it is a mistletoe. The mistletoe is a semi-parasitic plant. Living by sucking the life of the tree, at least in the beginning of its life, but still can do photosynthesis in order to survive once the host tree dies.
The post-structuralists called to move from a tree-like understanding of the world to a rhizome, a mass of interconnected dots. However, that might not be far enough on one side, and not understanding the problems of being a single being in a rhizomatic world. The belief that there is hidden structure, that is underneath, a hidden hand is a conspiratorial thought process that is both dangerous and naive. But the understanding that there isn’t a hidden structure, but at the same time, one has to get nutrients from something is unfortunately vital. The rhizome is still a belief that you can map history, deal with it as a stream of multiplicity. But what if you choose to have no roots, not to redesign the map, but to create from it. One has to be attached to the ground, but the attachment doesn’t have to be yours.
In a floating square above the center is the Stock Farmhouse, not as it is today, but as it was when it was a place to remodel the youth in its image. Around it floating or held up from the bottom are spheres containing botanical and/or decorative elements. There is a play of duality, of binaries if the objects held in the spheres are visible or not. The single letter floating in a transparent bubble is unaffected by this game. That single letter is also in a Sefardic font, one that is with limited difference between the weight of vertical and horizontal lines.
This doesn’t even get into the questions of the contained black. When the deep black of an oil pencil appears inside the structures, it is organized, well-maintained, almost domesticated into patterns, but when it is in the gray free space of the “background” it wisps away, like the sun’s fiery corona in a total eclipse.
There is an optimism in the call to use history as an anchor that you are not attached to. Instead of living in the post-truth world as a flimsy excuse to never confront the past, one can use it to be with the past, immerse in it, but still be free to move forward and not to just comply with its cold dead hands. The past is not a tree, the past is not alive, but we are not a wasp nor an orchid. Like the orchid, we are a semi-parasitic lifeform, but we can create perfect spheres in the middle of the air and we are not celebrated due to our beauty, but for our tenacity.
Written by Guy Eytan, https://www.guyeytan.com, December 2022