The gal­lery will be closed from Satur­day, August 6th through Monday, August 22nd


Defiance in front of divinity is so delec­table it requires a cer­tain fierce intel­ligence, at least as a star­ter, if not as the main dish.

 

For the West, it was Prometheus who stole fire from Zeus and gave it to the mortals, and whose punish­ment was to be chained to a moun­tain, which happened to be in the Caucasus, his liver being eter­nally torn out by the beak of an eagle.

 

For the Ossetians, it was Amiran who got into a rock-​throwing match with Jesus. After an enor­mous boul­der hurled past Jesus and lodged itself deep into a mountain, Jesus chal­len­ged Amiran to unearth the rock. Amiran did not succeed, and as punish­ment was chained to the peak of Mt. Kazbek. Amiran was a repeat offender, to use the legal lingo of his foe’s fol­lowers: the son of a sor­cerer, he singled out Christians for punish­ment. To this day, it is said that his despair and struggle to break free of his chains is what causes the avalan­ches and earthquakes in the greater region.

 

Finally, for the Abkhaz, it’s Abriskil, who is a paradigm of com­plexity. An ancient hero, Abriskil killed all men with blue eyes (if ever there were reverse racism, this was it), and yet primarily spent his time com­bating evil for his people. He too competed with a higher being, this time the Supreme God Ant­svah, claiming to be able to accom­plish all that He could, such as rid­ding the earth of weeds harmful to the harvest. The apostles had a tough time cat­ching him though, as he jumped between moun­tain­side and seaside with his large blud­geon in hand. They even­tually came up with a scheme: spread cow-​skins where he would land so that he would slip. Chained to a deep cave for his arrogance, Abriskil warns passersby: 

 Get out! But before you leave, tell me one thing: are the evil still oppres­sing the weak? Are ferns, black­berry bushes and weed still plaguing the earth?

 

Dear Abriskil,

It pains us to answer in the affirmative: the weeds, black­berry bushes and many many more evils still plague us and the Earth. The situation has become sligh­tly more com­plicated as it seems we con­stitute one of those very evils our­selves. On the brigh­ter side, though, we do now seem to have the means to break through those chains of yours.

Yours,
Slavs and Tatars 


The Letter for Prometheus

2009, ink on letterhead, 66 x 51 cm, ed. of 3 + 1 A.P.