“Every Moment Lost is Lost Forever” , MINIARTEXTIL :EROS, in Como Italy at Villa Olmo
Oct. 15 – Dec. 1, 2013
‘That which we love consumes us; a calling, a child, a lover. But not to oblivion but rather to regeneration. The wheel of time is propelled by the interrelation of Eros and Thanatos, flesh and smoke. These polarities are intertwined, like Inertia and Change. The destructive gobbling volcano buds new land, while the appetite of the carrion bird breeds new life.
As a maker, I weep because I’ve lost my babe among the leaves, among the feathers. My child’s babyhood passed out of my hands as I worked fabric and yarn, crystals and beads. Did I miss it? I thought I recorded it in the sewn pearls, crocheted flesh. This piece is mourning and laughing for the moments lost, no matter how love wants them to be timeless, forever; the flesh changes, softens, sags, crackles then burns and drifts on a dancing wind. Eros and Thanatos pulls us around again.’
My notes while making the installation, September 2nd, 2013:
“I’m exhausted, emptied out by an all day-all night session of making paper chrysanthemums. Thin fleshy petals delicate and alive from my hands, but never enough. I need more and more and more. I’m in a hazy state that seems like light intoxication. My desire to make what I see in my head is gobbling me up, devouring me, like the boiling water around the Siren, pulling me in over my head.
It’s what this work is about or more succinctly, what it is. An inverted lacy fleshy volcano of flesh, my flesh. My love both feeds everything that I am and seems to pull me apart. I burn up energy to take care of my family and to take care of my work. Sometimes, as all mothers do but seldom feel safe to really admit, I resent what I have to give. I want to be alone in my floating pool of pale chrysanthemums, head just below the water, all sound muffled into a heartbeat. But the flowers, the birds, every stitch in itself is an homage to what love demands of me, a record of my devotion to them that I cannot help but feel. I accept the bobbing state of tension between the forces that create and consume me. There is no resolve of it, but to work.
Not long ago, I was opening a public restroom door in a great hurry, pulling hard, Just as on the other side a very old woman was pushing on it to come in, using one hand, cane in the other. My pull threw her off balance and straight over into me, my hands came out to grab both her hands and arms to catch her. I instinctively gripped her, like I have as I’ve caught falling toddlers, reflexes quicksilver but gentle. I felt a shock of human electricity in that half second, as well as the hardly imaginable softness of her paper-thin skin. Her hands were like decaying silk, like poppy petals that have already fallen to the table. One might imagine frailty from age, from time, and yes frailty was there. But also was the fire that had used up the paper, turning it to floating motes of ash. The fire that burns us up is also there. When I am done with this body of mine, I want to have used up everything, I want to exist as a falling petal into the ash, knowing that there is no more to give. That I have given in to it all, and that to me is vitality.
A circle of fleshy carrion birds will loom above in this installation, creatures that exist to release what is dead, in a frenzy of hunger, into a new state. The heat and fertile darkness of the gorge. That we will exist even beyond the confines of our own body is beautiful and full of vitality as well. ”
This companion film was created of our 2-hour durational performance, done at the Villa Olmo, Como, Italy. The installation and performance have also been presented at Le Beffroi, Montrouge, Paris in February, 2014 and as part of ‘Mandy Greer: The Ecstatic Moment’, my solo exhibition at The Hudson River Museum, June 7th – September 14, 2014.