The glass and the jellyfish
Last Wednesday morning, after the set-up of the contemporary art exhibition at remomero gallery, I went to wash the car and then to pick up my children Matilde and Archimede from school. On the way back, while looking at the unusual shine of the windscreen, they started an animated discussion about the “to be or not to be” of the glass.
- The glass is nowhere – stated Archimede like a pre-Socratic philosopher.
- It depends if you consider it from the sense of touch or from the sight! – argued Matilde like an Aristotelian peripatetic disciple.
What at the beginning was a philosophical argue, turned quickly into a children’s quarrel. So, I was obliged to ask them to end the degenerating “discussion”. After two minutes they were silent crunching a snack.
I was driving in the chaotic traffic of Beirut and I had to keep my eyes on the roads, but thanks to Matilde’s and Archimede’s considerations, my attention started to be attracted - like never before - to the glass of the windscreen in front of me.
For a while I had the feeling to watch a video with the images of Beirut flowing by my side. A river of gigabytes of old houses and new skyscrapers, cars and busses, people walking on the street or sitting in cafes. Fluctuating in that river I tried to touch the glass of the windscreen with my hand, feeling the contrast between touch and sight. Looking at it and trough it I realized, perhaps for the first time in my life, that glass has no image.
Matilde and Archimede were nibbling their snack unaware of the whirl of thoughts they provoked in my mind. It was like when a pinch wakes you up from longstanding habits. Now I was aware of touching something quite invisible, at least the less visible of the materials we know.
My mind drifted to the images that play to dissolve themselves. Sometimes in favor of a color, sometimes of other images or, like it happens with glass, in favor of the touch.
"Being something at the limit of the view experience, sailing the boundaries between view and touch. Where we are obliged to rethink and refine our perception"
I was dreaming up with these subjects when a similar experience came up to my mind. It happens when we swim in the sea and, by chance, we come into contact with a jellyfish, the living being with the most impalpable body with extreme possibility of consistency. Its “pinch” seems like a warning coming from the threshold of the invisible.
Both, glass and jellyfish, are practicing vanishing.
Both, if you are absent-minded, will address to you a wake up “pinch” or, like in the case of glass, a wake up crash.
Matilde and Archimede finished their snack and they were now calm sitting on the back of the car. I looked at them in the rear-view mirror and they, as reading in my thoughts, addressed to me their pinch: Daddy! you can’t swim!