The Knot  

Sculpture (2019).

 

Text below

Installation view
 

Manipulated Tree Branches

116 x 59 cm

 

I got married and 'tied the knot' in 2016. We moved to a house surrounded by a garden, where I transformed the allegorical English expression into a literal one: indeed, I physically manipulated and bent the branches of the trees creating actual knots between them. The trees started growing in the direction of the knot, soon making it solid and alive. The act of manipulating the trees was an act of transubstantiation, a concept borrowed by Christian doctrine, in which an object can become other than itself, enhancing its meaning, while remaining the same. In many cultures, exorcisms and other rituals are performed with a similar process, in which the “luck”, the “demon” or the “event” are cast away from a person to the stone, the doll or the tree. In Jewish tradition, this is performed during the “kaparot” ritual, where the sins of a person are transferred to a chicken, who is later killed.
In 2019, regretfully, my marriage entered a deep crisis. As we tried to recover, but sadly knew the relationship wouldn't, I kept grooming and caring for the knot, continuing the ritual.
When our marriage ended, and I moved out of our house, I cut the branches down, completing the performance and saving the knot as an everlasting, unaware witness of the exorcism.

Elena Ceretti Stein © 2020

© 2020 by Elena Ceretti Stein