março 10, 2006
The garden of love, by Rachel Rosalen
The garden of love
[love, devastation and solitude]
The garden of love is an installation about the cycle of life. Life is short and fleeting. Living in Japan, I often noticed the cemeteries (o'haka) in the middle of the city.
They are a Ma* in the very intense and concentrated time and space that is Tokyo. The presence of our bodies and the remains of bodies resting in these spaces, transforms the place into a liminal territory, a gateway to another dimension of life. It doesn't matter if you believe that life continues or not, but I experienced the o'haka as a place to demonstrate the love and respect for one's ancestors.
We trace our personal histories to the memory and flesh beneath the earth. We perform the meaning of these relationships through individual and collective rituals. I choose an intimate language to communicate love: that thin and delicate line that connects our past, present, and future. "The Garden of Love" expresses the visceral and emotional spiral that weaves these distinct states of being.
This work is about the transitory nature life and its absence. Humanity's communal invention-the town- maintains this plural space in its very center, even in the extreme urban expression of Tokyo.
Each end is linked to a new beginning. In the o'haka unstable and very human emotions lie deep and dormant. There is no visible movement. Only the birds and the trees are breathing.
In some ways, the ritual performed in 'The Garden of Love" is an attempt to experience the Ma. The fragility of an eggshell and its promise of birth suggest a sense of suspended time. My body, a concentration of energy and finite time, aligns with those who lie beneath in a peaceful circle.
*Ma is a concept that crosses all the manifestations of the Japanese culture. It means space-time suspension, interval, in between, emptiness in suspension, being of pure power, the space in between inside and outside.