Tuesday, March 29, 2011


What is the threshold between the laws of physics and those of metaphysics? At what point is the crossing into the world of the seemingly impossible, incomprehensible, ineffable? Where is the boundary between life and art? The image, above, is not (intentionally) an environmental art work ... but the rubble of my home, sitting on the driveway fractured by the force of the quake. Following the earthquake the house, the core of 'dwelling' is metamorphosed. The physical boundedness evaporated, and the building subsequently distilled, decanted, into a mere pile of materials. The material becomes immaterial, in both senses of the word. Things become simultaneously without tangible form, and also inconsequential. The prior priorities of what dwelling implied are re-formulated. Aspirations to an ambience of beautifully proportioned spaces, volumes of light, a garden of different pleasures, gives way instead to the most rudimentary of concerns. The garden transformed into a toilet, the house made into a kind of shed for living. Nothing else really matters. Thoughts turn inwards into the contemplative realm, of a wish to transcend the banality of existence, to somehow rise above this.

The earthquake not only shattered life, but also profoundly spoke of a temporal existence beyond the ephemerality of our own lives. Of something ancient. The violent shaking, this geological Tourette's syndrome of abrupt episodes of random utterances, brings about thoughts of mythological dimensions. The earthquake inevitably morphs into a sinister presence.

It all just seems too impossible, too abstract, too surreal. Might it be that this is all an elaborate performance art exhibit. At some time soon the sky cloth will be pulled back to reveal our 'real' city still intact behind, the lives, the buildings, all returned?

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