Europa sind wir alle – Kunst Quest durch Europa, Austrian Museum of Petroglyphs, Spital am Pyhrn, Austria, 2008

Wax & Gold

Wax as cocoon, sheltering the gold from the hunter

Wax: pliability, insincerity (sincere, being "without wax"), wax as fat, contains the life substance; hense its use in magic and witchcraft to obtain power over people by means of images of wax.

Gold: the sun. illumination; the self-luminous; the quality of sacredness; incorruptibility; wisdom; durability; the equilibrium of all metallic properties; nobility, honor, superiority; wealth.

Truth is like a handful of butterflies waiting for the right moment to hatch. Hiding, appearing, disappearing then again reappearing, the reality around us is bipolar, it is wax and it is gold… it is wax encasing gold. Do we see the wax or the gold?

A whole philosophical principle and approach to life has developed in ancient Ethiopia on the basis of wax and gold. The wax is the obvious, the gold is the hidden core, but to reach the gold one must first see through the wax. This principle is most obvious in Ethiopian poetic form, where the true  meaning of the poem is only arrived at thorough seeing the gold not the wax.

In my work I conceal the environment with the wax to take "time" and "place" away and bring into focus the figure immersed in between the wax and gold. The environment denoting the "time" and the "place" of the photo is masked underneath the wax while a line of butterflies personifies the truth  and leads the way to it – placing the figure in the photo into a context giving its being a meaning, a time and a place.

As Beuys did with fat and Barney does with petroleum jelly, I do with wax. I don't retouch. I encase rather and heal, cover with wax what is hurting. Inside is the truth, the part that makes, is responsible for imperfection making the figure mortal – humane, able to coincide with the viewer.

Eva Petrič

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