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Before I got my eye put out

Alix Chauvet, Clemente Ciarrocca

Before I got my eye put out is a digital publication exploring permanence of the natural world, concepts and objects in relation to volatility of emotional and perceptional states.

We present two new film works combining linguistic and visual confessions to highlight an underlying, paradoxically common ground to both permanence and our highly volatile human senses — including the mind’s.

What is permanent and what is volatile enter a constructive dialogue when overlaid and simultaneaously engaged — emotional and perceptional revolutions feel deeper if perceived in relation to a permanent reality, whether natural or spiritual — a witness to our fluctuations, which in turn feels to our senses more promising, fuller and more powerful in its endurance.
The films inform this statement by targeting a flow where lyrical prose, conceptual dichotomies, daily dialogues, fears, hopes and emotions resonating with a world fearing itself are paired with a variety of perspectives on land, natural growth, reclusion, steady states and the referential role of nature.

Like in the poem written by E. Dickinson’s in 1868 and which inspired the publication’s title, in both works the seeming incongruence existing between reality and the mind’s eye that witnesses it unexpectedly provides ground for this relationship to flourish, stabilise and propel either concepts in clarity:

Before I got my eye put out –
I liked as well to see
As other creatures, that have eyes –
And know no other way –

But were it told to me, Today,
That I might have the Sky
For mine, I tell you that my Heart
Would split, for size of me –

The Meadows – mine –
The Mountains – mine –
All Forests – Stintless stars –
As much of noon, as I could take –
Between my finite eyes –

The Motions of the Dipping Birds –
The Morning’s Amber Road –
For mine – to look at when I liked,
The news would strike me dead –

So safer – guess – with just my soul
Upon the window pane
Where other creatures put their eyes –
Incautious – of the Sun –

✢ Part 1 — Finite Eyes / Clemente Ciarrocca

✢ Part 2 — released late June 2020