Special Price €1200.00

Oil and Acrylic on Canvas

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You walk for days among trees and among stones. Rarelydoes the eye light on a thing, and then only when ithas recognized that thing as the sign of another thing:a print in the sand indicates the tiger's passage;a marsh announces a vein of water; the hibiscus flower,the end of winter. All the rest is silent andinterchangeable; trees and stones are only what theyare.Finally the journey leads to the city of Tamara. Youpenetrate it along streets thick with signboardsjutting from the walls. The eye does not see thingsbut images of things that mean other things: pincerspoint out the tooth-drawer's house; a tankard, thetavern; halberds, the barracks; scales, the grocer's.Statues and shields depict lions, dolphins, towers,stars: a sign that something -- who knows what? --has as its sign a lion or a dolphin or a tower or astar. Other signals warn of what is forbidden in agiven place (to enter the alley with wagons, tourinate behind the kiosk, to fish with your pole fromthe bridge) and what is allowed (watering zebras,playing bowls, burning relatives' corpses). From thedoors of the temples the gods' statues are seen, eachportrayed with his attributes -- the cornucopia, thehourglass, the medusa -- so that the worshiper canrecognize them and address his prayers correctly. Ifa building has no signboard or figure, its very formand the position it occupies in the city's ordersuffice to indicate its function: the palace, theprison, the mint, the Pythagorean school, the brothel.The wares, too, which the vendors display on theirstalls are valuable not in themselves but as signsof other things: the embroidered headband stands forelegance; the gilded palanquin, power; the volumesof Averroes, learning; the ankle bracelet,voluptuousness. Your gaze scans the streets as ifthey were written pages: the city says everything youmust think, makes you repeat her discourse, and whileyou believe you are visiting Tamara you are onlyrecording the names with which she defines herselfand all her parts.However the city may really be, beneath this thickcoating of signs, whatever it may contain or conceal,you leave Tamara without having discovered it.Outside, the land stretches, empty, to the horizon;the sky opens, with speeding clouds. In the shape thatchance and wind give the clouds, you are alreadyintent on recognizing figures: a sailing ship, a hand,an elephant. . . ."