Friday, May 19, 2017

Every ark is an invitation

by J J Cohen

An ark is a strongbox in which are conserved against cataclysm an inadequate number of new beginnings. An ark is built through violence. Its hospitality is extended at cost. An ark's delineating and defensive walls will inevitably prove porous, its contents unsettled (and full of stowaways), its trajectory adventure-filled, and its future both uncertain and filled with unforeseen possibility.

Every ark is an invitation, the inevitable welcoming of a world far larger than its manifest.

Yes I am writing: in this case, a version of the ark project I'm working on with Julian Yates to deliver at the Moscow Museum of Modern Art next week. The theme of the exhibit is Hosting the Inhuman, with an emphasis on radical hospitality ... so I will be delivering my talk in a space that has been reconfigured as a generic hotel reception area. I'm excited and a little nervous. My title? "Welcome to Noah's Ark!" It's the first time I've given a talk with an exclamation point in the title!

The image, in case you are wondering, is by one of my favorite artists, William de Brailes. I don't think he loved the ark story -- at the very least he made a problem of it. Here, a VERY crowded vessel is almost ready to set sail.

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