Basel, May 13, 2022

tree of life passing by 

Salomé Jashi is one of the great talents of Georgian cinema. Her gracefully poetic documentary Taming the Garden tells of trees and of our moral dilemma in dealing with nature and with ourselves. In the Stadtkino Basel bar we will encounter her cinematic raw material, projected onto the ceiling. The trees are passing by. It’s up to us whether we linger or not.

Images don’t show. They represent. They evoke. They are fragments, reflections, shadows, spirits giving a sign. 

 

tree of life passing by points to missed possibilities, neglected paths, blind spots that obscure our vision. We stand here with the confidence of the well-off, with the privilege of a distant look as the grandeur of universal axis, universal justice casually passes by. 

 

When a large tree moves, slides, walks, it looks magnificent. Its trunk creaks. Its brunches sway. It is paralyzing to observe this movement in real life. It is also confusing, unsettling, delirious. And finally, when rationality comes to mind, the tree has gone, emptiness remains, this feeling, that something was here and no longer is. But what was it? Was it just a tree? 

 

Here, in this video installation, you see a reflection of this real act, a casual glimpse of the tree of life passing by. It is a momentary encounter, an acknowledgement and a farewell.

 

I dedicate this work to the victims of today’s evil, the destructive arrogance of racism, that gained power unnoticed. But was it actually unnoticed? Did the cries sound from too afar? What was it that obscured the vision?

 

Salomé Jashi

 

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