until 17.12. | #0903ARTatBerlin | BQ Berlin shows from 12th November the exhibition “Political Moonlight” by the artist Ruth Nemet.
I’m gonna lay down my sword and shield
Down by the riverside
I’m gonna study, study, war no more
I ain’t gonna study war no more
(African-American Spiritual, c. 1860s)
In the river’s waters, Ruth Nemet sees visions. A song plays, a war rages on, history froths and churns. Reflections on a river. Ghosts in the water, she makes an apparition of paint on a photo.
Down by the river. Down to the river. Old Man River, he must know something, but he don’t say nothing – he just keeps rolling. The river gushes and flows, splashes and babbles, shuddering against bank sitcuts across time with mysterious power. It was hes away the sins and memories, mud and blood.
They always find the body ‘downriver’.
Any fugitive will tell you, a river is a friend, hiding tracks and breaking a bloodhound’s nosy pursuit. Farmers and traders know they are close to gods, fortunes found and lost in their ebb and flow. “You cannot step twice into the same rivers,” says Heraclitus because he knows that water is life and the river is time.
On its banks you wept, you fucked, you slept on mossy beds with grassy pillows lulled by its slumbrous lullabies and softest susurrus. Its cool wet kiss slakes terrible thirsts. Do you dare to drink its waters? Fears of stomach bugs and secret pollutions, alligators and crocodiles and hippos that can all chomp your bones if they want with a single snap of their jaws. And the grazers come at dawn and dusk for a long wet lapping, but so do their hunters. Drink too much and you’ll drown.
Does it flow past a Biblical desert through the Promised Land, through a concrete ditch carrying the city’s soda cans and plastic bags and used condoms down to the ocean to be discovered by sandcastling children and pecked at by unsuspecting gulls?
On it flows and flows, passing with wet force down from the mountain and beyond the bend, past the rapids, away.
Blindingandrevealingwitheachwavelet,lightripplesoverthesurface.Sunlightskipsacrossthesurfaceeverydayofcourse,but in the darkness: starlight and streetlight and headlights. The candles of the faithful coming down to pray, the lanterns of camping children, the flares of soldiers, a longboat’s floods as it drifts lazily along. And ever and again, the silvery shimmer of moonlight. Stare long enough into the waters, and visions appear. When the cow jumps over the moon, is it only a reflection? Is what we witness the past looking back, the future revealed? Do you see the faces of presidents and prisoners, revolutionaries and chieftains, dictators and pioneers? And in these visions, political moonlight on swift waters, what secrets and stories do they reveal?
Blink and you might miss it, a spider dances across the water, looking for a meal and with a wet gulp from a quick fish becomes one.
Vernissage: Friday, 11th November 2016, 6 until 9 p.m.
Exhibition period: Saturday, 12th November 2016 until Saturday, 17th December 2016Zu BQ
Image caption: Ruth Nemet, “Urgend Fury”, 2016, Öl auf Fotografie, Courtesy BQ, Berlin, Foto: Roman März, Berlin
Exhibition Ruth Nemet – BQ Berlin – Kunst in Berlin ART at Berlin