29 November 2021 - 30 January 2022
ESCAP3 Gallery is proud to present our forthcoming online Two Person Exhibition: Polymorphism Curated by Moshumee T. Dewoo.
He’s haunted by the memory of a lost paradise
In his youth or a dream
He can’t be precise
He’s chained forever to a world that’s departed
It’s not enough, it’s not enough
— Pink Floyd, “Sorrow”
It has never been hard for us to imagine the world destroyed, our lives falling apart, and what we could have been therein falling away instead, uncontrolled. Many of our books and films of fiction of post-World War 2, especially, have been well penned along post-apocalyptic expressions that would have got us acclimatised to the possibility of that lost world, a lost paradise, a paradise lost, personal or global. Yet, we would likely be unprepared if this did, in fact, happen. Panic and fear would overtake many of us, as would confusion and despair. But it is mostly regret that would be our strongest emotion then.
See, we are strange creatures. Foolishly optimistic ones. Madly confident too. We hurt the world; we waste life; we snub time. We never quite seem to appreciate the world until it looks to be destroyed. We make countless horrible decisions until there is not much to make decisions about. We think that we have time until there is no future to run toward, and nobody there waiting for us. Strange, indeed, we are. And, so, we often lament the past. We mourn the present. We regret most things, most decisions, most of what we would have clung unto too tightly or let go of too quickly. Love. Pain. A flower. A letter. A signature. A seed. A hand. A purse. A dream. The key to a home. A person. A river. A zoo. The ocean. Air. Water… We regret not doing better.
And, in the face of this, we quickly churn wild promises that we will do better. We focus. We correct. We sign new contracts. We seek new paths. We open our hearts again. We get our hopes high! We grow flowers between our cement walls. We write to those close to us. We marry them. We think of life off-grid. Solar panels and permaculture will carry us through. We will sustain the ground differently. It will be new soil! Refugees will be welcome. It will be a 60s flower-power sort of feel. Money will not be needed there. Only peace and love. We will hold hands. Kumbaya! Animals will run about, abundant. Air and water will be pure. We will forge the key to a world anew. We will take care of what is left. We will shelter those that are left. Promises. Cornucopian pockets of tranquillity built on the remains of the past, traces of paradise tossed on the inhospitable grounds of the present. Remnants. Ruins that we will hold on to, as Mohammed Arrhioui and Hamza Ben Rashad show us. Dearly. Desperately.
We will put them to use as narrative endpoints and lessons for the future. We will give them new life. We will add colours to them. Colours that they did not have before. Blues and yellows and greens of all shades and tones. We will frame them. We will stack them. We will show them. We will glue them together. We will protect them, sometimes with shells, to remind us of how fragile they once were. We will put them in that place in our hearts that nobody and nothing can ever come close to. Never again. We will keep them safe. We are their guardians. They will live. They must live. Forever. They are sacred, secret lieux de mémoire, enchanting “vestiges”, as Pierre Nora would call them, “rituals of a ritual-less society”.
We will put them to good use.
Participating: Mohammed Arrhioui & Hamza Ben Rachad (Morocco)