“It is a lack of all sense of proportion which drives the Persian army to invade Greece. Disappointed, after the capricious nature of the Aegean Sea, that same army commits to punish the ocean by lashing its waves.”
In his book “The Captive” Proust refers two times to the legendary anecdote of king Xerxes beating the waters of the Aegean Sea. The first one is an example of the inherent poetry and beauty that resides inside incomprehensible behaviors. And the second one shows the futile attempts of the main character to find the truth lying behind Albertine’s actions and if she has been unfaithful or not.
And yet it did not occur to me that I ought long ago to have ceased to see Albertine, for she had entered, for me, upon that lamentable period in which a person, scattered in space and time, is no longer a woman but a series of events on which we can throw no light, a series of insoluble problems, a sea which, like Xerxes, we scourge with rods in an absurd attempt to punish it for what it has engulfed. Once this period has begun, we are perforce vanquished.
The Captive 5: 131
Art extracted from the most familiar reality does indeed exist and its domain is perhaps the largest of any. But it is nonetheless true that considerable interest, not to say beauty, may be found in actions inspired by a cast of mind so remote from anything we feel, from anything we believe, that they remain incomprehensible to us, displaying themselves before our eyes like a spectacle without rhyme or reason. What could be more poetic than Xerxes, son of Darius, ordering the sea to be scourged with rods for having engulfed his fleet?
The Captive 5: 53
Video Installation (dual screen or single screen)
Loop of 4’30”, Video HD 16/9, Color, Stereo
Edición de 3 + 2 a.p. – 2018
Date: March 4, 2018