“The Thingly Thingness of Things”


The Thingly Thingness of Things

“2013 is the year of the snake and I am celebrating it in this print to honor the Chinese calendar but with a pre-Columbian twist. In the Chinese horoscope the snake is a sign of wisdom, arts, and philosophy. In Pre-Columbian cultures, particularly the Nahua, the snake signifies life and the fertility of the earth.

The Thingly Thingness of Things, is about the unpredictable nature of life using some philosophical opposites. Goethe’s Faust said the tree of theory is grey while the tree of life is green. The title is based on a quote from Heidegger, a philosopher who overly theorized and kept himself detached from life and presents a view opposite to Goethe’s.

The cluster of heads on the water is made up of people blocking each other’s view of The Tree of Life while they get deeper in the waters (this image was inspired by Philip Guston paintings). The Tree of Life is generous and keeps dropping its fruit on the unaware heads. I played with the idea that viewers have to imagine the eyes of each subject hiding behind one another. The heads represent different cultures comingling in space but without much of a connection and without seeing each other. The little ballerina on the top of the knife is transforming a threatening weapon into a harmless stage for a dance.”

Enrique Chagoya