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Still Life

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What is a still life? An arrangement of fruits in a bowl on a table cloth. A drawing exercise. Something domestic. Organic. Artificial. 

A reality on which to meditate.

There are moments here in Aix when I can’t help but revel in how nice it is not to be talking about shopping and shoes, cat videos and the news, but about the nature of reality in a bowl of oranges.

Last night, for example. After the rest of the crew had departed Charley and O’Neill’s, the four of us hung around collectively contemplating a bowl of apples on the table, which rose as one in clusters with a couple of them resting solitary in the foreground next to Hilary’s ball of yarn with knitting needles sticking through it. Beside it all was a candle flame stuck in a wine bottle. Chromeo was still pumping through the speakers.

“See the leaves in the enveloping green of the yarn. ”

“There’s a reality on which to meditate.”

“But is it a being.”

“Yes.”

“Why?”

“The laws of nature.”

“There’s life and death, the whole cycle. Aloneness and togetherness.”

We stare for a while and we don’t come to conclusions. But in the company of these artists, I’m learning to see the universe in the simplest of arrangements.

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