[NOTE: This film is intended to be screened as a continuous loop]
Render and Thistle (2009) reflects upon nature’s endless cycle of destruction and creation – one of our species’ most enduring, yet primitive existential fears.
In this film we encounter a naked figure, reclining in a manner that suggests cool passivity. We then witness the figure’s seemingly endless and haphazard creation and destruction of a dried thistle (“tumbleweed”).
Nature’s destructive power plays an integral role in the propagation of all biological life on our planet, yet it is feared. One way humans deal with this fear is to project an alternate narrative, one in which humans are the entity to be feared. This can be seen most prominently in the language surrounding the contemporary environmental activism, where the banner of “save the planet” (from mankind) still flies high.
My research of the embodied experience of plants and animals has led me to a deeper appreciation of nature’s rendering forces –wind, water, decomposers, even gravity. As deconstruction is inextricably linked to creation, I have begun to wonder if perhaps the root of our cultural fear of destruction lies in a deeper collective fear of creation, or rather, a fear of our own inability to comprehend the meaning of creation.