Monday, November 3, 2014

Statement to read Sue Saxon

Your name

flour, kosher salt, 5m x 5m 
your name references a landscape of desert and ocean; passage across continents (my parents’ migration from Europe to Australia), the water’s edge (the beach, yearned for in New York where the work was created). Kosher salt is considered to be ‘purer’ than ordinary salt and is used in the process of purifying (koshering) meat, and also in ordinary cooking. I chose salt and flour for their colour, texture, domestic and symbolic properties. After all, cooking and eating play paramount roles in Jewish culture, expressions of love often channelled through food.
The ridges, resembling sand dunes or waves were created by pressing my fingertips into the flour, the symbols which appear to be at the mercy of the tide’s ebb and flow are taken from Eastern European tombstones. Some define the interred by their profession (the scissors representing a tailor), or inherited status (the hands in a pose of benediction indicate that the person descended from Aaron, the high priest).
The Hebrew word ‘shimecha’ –‘ש מ ך’ means ‘your name’, and can be understood on many levels. Your name goes forward into the world representing you and remains behind after you; when you imagine a loved one, you might say their name to draw their presence closer. your name also addresses the Jewish God, whose name it is forbidden to utter, in and for whose name, so many have died. your name is question, meditation and accusation, expressing my own uncertainty about God’s existence.

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