Winds, voices, gazes move in a strange vortex where memory colludes and collides with its nemesis.
Is nature as accidental and strategic as we are?
The blackness of the grass after the yellow and the blue heat has engulfed its abode. It smells of burnt flesh, as if Earth had grown a skin below the threshold.
In this place of banal desolation, ruins resemble one another, borne of the mother of progress, aborted by futility. Abandoned structures have a life of their own, and rather than compete with nature seem to become part of it. They have almost been assimilated by it. This circumstantial area is also resonant of a certain unknown nomadic emptiness, a reflection of an internal state of incertitude, a quiet torment lingering as the eye stretches all around its axis without finding rest. Here or there, one knows not which, we remember this sense of loneliness, a place which cannot be home.
Those semi ruins are like a forgotten language, because the words are broken, taken apart, reassembled hurriedly, then left mute and sour, begging for a history of their own. The solitary builder will attempt to gather the pieces and construct a new meaning. A phrase that rings differently, perhaps like the distant sound of a deep slow bell under water. The builder of sense will also instil an order made out of chaos, adding motion to the apparent stasis of these dysfunctional structures taking care not to remove or separate them from their altered environment. Therein, the dysfunctional immobility of these edifices transforms them into a vestige, in a sense, accidental art. They are the smouldering ends of a langue morte, a dead language. Les mots immobiles d’une conquete incomplete, the coagulated words of a conquest cold in its bed. Revolution of a stasis, a sideway glance into an uncertain past.
The curved rhythm of a frozen semiosis. L’espace ou l’esprit perd le sense du temps. Solidified ghosts, their medium of existence exude from finite materials of metal, glass, bricks and mortar incorporated in the organism of an undefined context, or rather a field of human endeavour that has lost the definition by which we had recognized and measured our future. We observe the disintegrating signs of a questionable purpose. We cannot enter those moments; within lies an inaccessible past, like a petrified womb, the illusion of a glorious achievement contains it. A land awaiting its fate.
La ronde des mots cadavres, the dance of the cadaver words.
This is a raft of the Medusa, carrying the forlorn. It will not sink or reach a port.
Zone X, where X stands for the bygone, speaks of an impossible connection, the marriage of the quick and the dead, the unnameable margin where the ebb and flow drag the passengers who marvel at the scene or remain unaware of the para-cultural signs…forbidden entry, keep out, danger…epitaphs, derricked, condemned, deserted towns. The phantom promise.
The land is where we bury the dead, but here the land has been buried beneath the weight of the human past, a past that hardly reached actuality, or only briefly, sporadically, half heartedly.
These objects seem lost in space and lost in time. Like tombs where the name has been scratched out. And even if a name appears, it will be meaningless to us, it is void of personal memory. At dusk, occasional mists rise. In the penumbra vast cages appear, the bones of olden beasts, gigantic and useless, fallen on an arid plain, starved and alienated.
Their carcass stuns us with a frozen power. It is rare to find a window into their flank, let alone a door. They are condemned, uprooted yet ensconced in the plundered soil, the concrete block, the steel armature of urban mortality. We migrate in an endless dance, searching for a point of reference, a way home. Our gaze loses itself as phantoms appear and dissolve before us.
Copyright © Pascal Ancel Bartholdi 2013