Remembering Nature

the ongoing aspects of G. Metzger’s call to remember nature heeded here…

RemNatCatW…a short report on the meeting we had simultaneously with the opening at St. Martins… a case in point as to how much work is needed to draw attention to the process and nature… artists like to go off on tangents and here it was no different…

just a willy-nilly repro for now, comments later…

 

Well it was a rather small gathering that found itself peering at a small screen streaming version of Metzger’s remember nature at central St. Martins, and admittedly one could hardly discern what was being said… Some participants called in ‘ nuscheln’ which I find to be a rather pleasant word in itself… So after a rather quiet start we proceeded to each comment on our own vision or remembrance of nature… ( after what might have been a rather rambling intro touching a bit on various passible aspects..) 

Leo L. presented us with a well worn stone, black with inclusions like a cosmic thing, and considered it’s possible age of million years in light of our short sojourn on this planet, and that our notions are but relavive, also what concerns nature… Agreed but good for a discussion on our perspectives on the subject and how we deal with our environment… Carbon footing and travel bans included… But somewhere the notion of who we are in relation to our world turned to the eating of meat, other creatures we share the planet with and exploit… Based on again personal memories and views, in the case of Bernard M. investigating guilt – citing a medieval( cite*]  source wherein a sow was officially hung after  “due ” process… Combined with his own memory of having to kill chickens as a child… And the dynamics of this act in family and social life… The whole discussion on vegetarianism, veganism and such ensued, with Antoine considering the back to basics as a way to reconnect with that aspect of our nature – as opposed the the industrial abstraction  now prevalent, but I considered my own decicion to become vegetarian exactly on the same premise… Being directly involved in killing one’s food having both divergent effects… 

This led inexorably to a discussion on the economics of it all ( not only impractical protein production and distribution) and the whole mess of speculative capital, the various practices in different cultures, such as Hawala in islamic countries, and a return perhaps to more local (- glockal) and oversee-able models… The digression into usury, interest, exchange…Confusion as to the origins of certain ethnic tendencies in banking Into which a pensioned ‘doppelgänger’ from Austria Kurt R. Injected a  jewish joke which we had to ponder a while before having the penny drop as it were… ( not to say stumped the audience for a bit)

Karine vE disclosed the fact that again trees have been felled in the surroundings which they had chosen to live, precisely because of the trees… The communes are afraid of trees since they can damage property, considered paramount by the insurance companies… She also read the contribution made by Jerôme G. From sunny Marseille… 

Dialogist-Kantor reinstalled a reconstituted tree that had been shown in England and locally, referring also to the questionabel practice of artists jetting about the world to accompany work… This tree travels on i’s own… But the idea in general of an art-travel ban is difficult to sell, for some of us it”s a welcome occasional escape… But with all these aspects, a temperance might be in order especially for those often flying far… We considered especially the recent spate of mid-east jaunts…  Hmmm

But in all this gathering is already conscious of the dilemmas and attempts to keep their carbon footprint a light as possible, tho an attempt to blacken one on nylon- polyester ( should have used acid) didn’t quite work out, the natural charcoal being to hard for the job… The flowchart-wall did however materialise after a while, more of the composite drawing of sorts, with Manu T. Adding a large portion of small birds on branches, while whistling away… 

( further afield LL’s sun-bleach work was displayed at the DepInterdep at Péruwelz, we had a Rothkolike version on the wall to illustrate the sun’s power we are only slowly beginning to harness for our energy needs… Still a ways to go, since the photovoltaic route is perhaps not the best)

We did have a difficult time remaining within the boundaries of non-art, striking aspect of material production, and some purposefully tested our acceptance of this premise, for instance Kurt, who left behind his emptied bottle of austrian wine wrapped in a local art-newspaper as … Well objet signé, one might say… A statement on the proceedings? 

The reconstituted tree also had an uncanny artistic quality about it, and the flowchart drawing would not look amiss in a gallery context… All very close to the real thing… Would our participation make a huge difference? Rather not, preaching to the converted, but by being part of a wider moment of reflection it could be considered well worth it, and, dare I admit, also quite enjoyable after an initial moment of doubt…

Back in Antwerp removed the poster where it all began, so rounding off the day in a tidied up way… Quite out of character if I may say so.