ges-`ur, The PlanDaniel C. Blight
Written to accompany Ziggurat: Claire Hooper and Paul Simon Richards
Installation view, Ziggurat: Claire Hooper and Paul Simon Richards
What concrete earth is this? A grey floor provides a
cold platform. An empty container long ago held
water. Fish bones litter the place, brittle and small
as if dead merely a month past spawning.
The fish reveal a common story: a temple no longer
exists, it was outgrown, a feast was had and much
intoxicating liquor was consumed. Later, when the
place was found, looking at it again we might be
forgiven for wanting to leave it behind.
Like a bad trip, or a time under hypnosis, we are
consumed by the smell and presence of fish.
I’m very sick and also sorrowful.
We could hang things here in ode to our patron
gods. A skeleton is not just a representation of a
now-dead body but a symbol for a thing most of us
will become. I’m interested in how my body,
notwithstanding the tug and torment of age, might
reveal itself to me as I pass.
My bones and flesh covered with fish.
I breathe in, eventually letting out what I cannot
keep in my stomach. The room fills with the sweet
smell of fresh vomit, of carp decay, and of life lived
after the hallucination.
The city outside was built by the eventual settling
of nomadic pastoralists. I set the scene for a story;
one where I am forcibly removed from the temple
in the evening when the liquor runs out; one where
the time spent inside is only to offer contrast to the
misery of leaving and crossing the river again at dark.
Back outside the air is warm and greets us falsely,
providing a form of comfort that is not sustainable,
a tease to the senses.
The sounds of chatter echo around. As voices mix
they are blurred, bouncing off the buildings, asking
and failing to be heard.
Gender is abhorrently divided here and everywhere
else. The male and female aspects of society are
represented by symbolic means that actualise only
in the selfish living of daily life, the stupid and
inane force of habit.
A so-called masterful mix is created and we are
born from the combined myth of religion and
history – each and every one of us directly from a
Our bind to water is an ironic punishment for our
disgust at the division we find in our anatomical
form. If we can convince everyone else of the
constant and retrogressive reproductive cycle of
life, we will be freed.
That is our challenge as people ejected from the
temple, any temple.
A man stands before us. He has a beard. From his
shoulders emerge two streams of water, his way of