valeria caflisch
Exhibition Gallery102 at GW University, Washington DCShelter No1 (detail)Shelter No1Shelter No2Shelter No2 (detail)Shelter No3 Shelter No3 (detail)Shelter No4Shelter No4 (detail)Shelter No5Shelter No5 (detail)Shelter No6Shelter No6 (detail)Shelter No7Shelter No7 (detail)Shelter No8Shelter No8 (detail)
Shelters
There is a painting in the National Gallery by the Italian painter Gian Battista Tiepolo, called Madonna of the Goldfinch. The child is facing and targeting me when I pass, while the mother looks away. Why does she look away? The boy is keeping a bird in his hand and I recognized that the bird is trapped. By a string it is attached to the child’s hand. No way back to the birdhouse or nest!
Childlike play - even if dyed in Tiepolo’s pink colors - can be cruel. Human nature can be cruel. Nature can be cruel.
Bird’s houses are shelters for the ones who need a rest, the ones who have nothing or are on a journey. Mine look empty and their light and shadows talk about long days.
Who are they waiting for? You or me? Everybody can be a target, can be kept from coming home, from reaching the next shelter.

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