Everybody Knows That the Boat is Leaking
Yara Sonseca Mas
When the mosaic in Lod was lifted, a footstep appeared: that of someone who had been there in the 3rd century, busy laying the tesserae that decorate the floor of this patrician house. The base of the mosaic, which was discovered by chance, revealed the negative of a foot. What literally appeared was a trace of the process, opened up like a book. Here a roll, displayed in this gallery, has the words of a lament: in situ, ex situ, non situ… A captive soul and a defenceless lion confront each other, back to front, so that we can see and read them in an intervening moment. The two figures, both turned to stone and made of fragments, are ready to be transported while moving – as metaphors in a literal sense – from one possible reading to another, from the roots to the tips of a story already told a thousand times, now starting again. A story that everybody knows and which seems to have no beginning or end.
On the walls are floor tiles made from dislodged geometrical fragments… First came decoration, as Alois Riegl would have said. More, similarly domestic remnants, and also out of place. Again they are metaphors, this time of a similarly contemporary reality although more recent: from the Greek, Roman and Ottoman colonies to the capitalist ones. Construction, deconstruction, “gentrification”… The sea as backdrop. The bloodstained, ancient Mediterranean in which we try to rapidly wash out everything that dirties and irritates in the short-term. But the waves cast back what they cannot digest. Ulysses must return and thus complete the journey. In the same way, the remains of the construction boom are washed up on shore, and Ella Littwitz is there to collect them and use them to weave a new floor that will hold us up, as everybody knows how things stand, but we keep hoping for a better world.