Perennial Memory in Deciduous Leaf


I read somewhere that the ancient Greeks did not write necrologies,
when someone died, they simply asked:
did he have passion? – Herberto Helder


It is hard to think that after we die someone might find our image, printed on photographic paper, in the flee market. That it might find its way here, to this gallery, in the hands of an artist. It is the inescapable logic of reproduction. Dry Autumn leaves also seem to multiply. In the city, they are swept daily until all the leaves fall from all the trees in all the streets. In the countryside, they are absorbed by the soil or blown away by the wind. And it seems that our feet, besides the joy of listening to the crackling sound of dead matter, can also feel a promise of renewal.

Celtis australis L. is an installation by artist Carla Cabanas, and was created in the context of her Artistic Residency at Carpe Diem – Arte e Pesquisa. It creates a feeling unlike any Autumn walk: one does not want to step on these leaves nor to listen to their crackling sound. Each of them seems to contain fragments of a personal history, and the permeating idea of death induces a certain reverence. This is a foliage that exposes instead of camouflaging. Where did it come from and how did it get here? The randomness of this pile of evocations contrasts with the precise morphology of each cut. One looks at the window and imagines the trees that shed these leaves. Maybe their roots still endure, despite the uncertain destiny of everything that flies.

Maria Sottomayor