This is a story of love and it is a story of a man, his advise, my sculpture, our tragedy, your world and the passion to donate a whole life to peace and freedom.
The man’s name is Eitan, he’s living in South France with his wife and a son. I met him years ago in an art space called Saint Henri in the Aude region. He was part of an artist group and he co-organized a big art festival every year. In these days of lock down and limited human rights i was thinking about Eitan, his journey through life, his passion and energy and his advice to me years ago when i was working on a new sculpture for the house of the dragon.
In the first five month of 2020 the common narrative is cruising around Corona and the political and the economical implications. Even in Spain we experienced a kind of worst case scenario.
My art is – if it is related to architecture and sculpturing – often driven by simple needs to solve a challenge. In case of this sculpture the heavy weather events with a lot of rain in spring 2020 in our region in Spain (Maestrazgo) reminded to an unsolved problem in our terrace.
In one corner we created a very tiny wall and with low budget we where not able to close the gap between wall and terrace floor properly. So heavy rains let water pass the construction and we have a wet wall inside of the lower room. The problem is know for 30 years but never was money and time (at the same moment !) available to solve it.
Now in times of Corona – as in many family homes the people check all these abandoned tasks – we started to finish this job. Inspired by another project in the last time – a terrace garden – we designed a structure like a very little raised bed. This bed is also a link to our big color garden project which we expanded a lot with the help of Dilan and Francesca from Manresa and other friends of Familiafeliz in the village of Cervera del Maestre.
We see ourselves as very privileged to stay in a little peaceful village in the first line of mountains in province of Castellon in these times of lock down. Nevertheless we are affected and we will be affected much more in the next years. This is a kind of civil war, the weapons are narratives, drugs, media and decrees. The target is global human mankind. The parties involved are highly motivated or as always as a majority silent and docile.
My art is social sculpturing and i am focused on the people i meet and their needs, dreams and wishes. A piece of art is an creative expression as a reaction of my surroundings and it cover a narrative as well. It becomes common sense – and therefore culture on a long term – if it is substanzial and clear like a lighthouse and if it is able to give orientation and vision to cover the challenge of life.
Eitan was born in Israel. As many young men he was part of military and served in various conflicts and in a big local war. Later in his life he moved to the United States and worked as a cook in the United States military. In this position he served in another war. He was part of a very little community in which he meet is wife Jessica. Later they both went to France and rebuild a very old stone house in a little village in the Pyrenees . Both are highly creative people and they are surrounded by a lot of other artists and friends. But – as always if somebody is powerful and driven by values and vision – the life is challenging them a lot.
Familiafeliz, as a social sculpture, is itself a piece of art and a reflection and reaction to this world. In the core team we think, that collaboration and cooperation leads to more peace, freedom and happiness. We share the idea of living individually embedded in a sustainable family clan based on values of humanity. This world, as we experience now, is passing a tipping point and – like nature ever – falling from one relative balance into another. Based in the second law of thermodynamics i use the word falling with intention.
If you are still reading this post and if you ask yourself what is the link between Eitan, a sculpture on top of a Spanish house in the mountains of el maestrazgo, the tragedy of corona and the downfall of our old world order you are just framed in the right way, to receive the advise, Eitan gave to me years ago in a little café in the region of Aude in France.
I moved years ago to France because i was looking for community life and tired about the same stories they told me in existing communities i visited. Most of them are starting full of illusion, initiated by powerful people and driven by those who want to escape from the system and organizing community life by inventing rules and more rules and more rules. I was not sure what i should do, because i experienced that all these community designs lead to the same, a tragic copy of the overall societies in western worlds. And with Corona we see now the implications of these design. I was sure, that there might be an alternative design available, which might be driven by “less is more”. And when Eitan asked me what i would like to do really, i answered him: “My intention is to create a space in which this new pattern of community life can occur, as a result of less is more. I see myself as a facilitator, not the creator, and finally i will be not part of it because i want to limit my influence.”
The snake in the terrace is protecting the plants in the raised bed. It is turning the head in the direction of Madrid as the source of political power in Spain and its eyes are connecting the people moving in the streets of the village and the sky above all of us. Its cock is pointing to another older sculpture of this artist residence and familiafeliz guest house, the dragon on top of the highest wall.
The key qualifications of the 21st century are: growing and defending food.Juan Petry
Like the healing snake i see this animal in a positive way. Its ability to skin brings him the reputation of immortality. In times of Corona people get confused by loosing the contact to nature and full of fear the death becomes an unhuman enemy and intolerant exception.
We are part of the nature and we borrowed our body from its bio mass. By leaving the paradise we where able to experience the world and its beauty but we loosed the immortality. So my inherent message of this sculpture is as simple as this: grow your food and protect it from those who want to steal it and share it which those who decide to life with you in a space to develop a new pattern of living together in communty.
The snake is now part of the CASAdelDRAGON, the artist residence and think tank of new social ideas, the guest house for our community and the playground for gatherings, performance and projects. Less is more. Make it simple. The snake has no arms and legs. It doesn’t carry weapons. It use its body to perform. The body of the idea of Familiafeliz is our charter, a simple basic text about our principals (pdf, englisch version | other languages available here) . We are embedded into this world, we have no second one. We are moving in our bio mass for a couple of years inside of this world. We should be smart and bright in our temporal easy going. We should be motivated by creativity and the desire to discover, not by fear.
Eitans advise to me was simple as this: No backup! Go! Whatever you want to do in your life. Start now, do not wait and do not waste your time by maintaining a backup. Losing is not an option. Only when you route all the energy in achieving your goal, you will succeed.
The immortal snake construction was finished yesterday. Today we will place some plants in its raised bed. This plants are for your future and we will prepare them in the kitchen of the house of the dragon. This little sculpture will be linked to a wise man and his advise for us, not to limit our power in thinking in backups.
Eitan was born in 1943-05-27. He will celebrate his 77st birthday today. Happy birthday Eitan!