Door Window

The gleaming stones of the path were extracted from the local quarry, a place of such national significance that colossal lorries are regularly seen reversing onto the ferry in Linaria, creating a noticeable slump on the boat’s waterline as it bears the weight of marble, always the last vehicles to be loaded. The tradition of the cut stone street is an essential feature of the village. Here they also carry mopeds, hundreds of feet and the occasional mule. In winter they become streambeds after heavy rain. He’d made the link to Ancient Greek traditions of stone architecture but this was shaken the previous year after a visit to the archaeological site at Palamari, barely accessible and set back from the road to the tiny airport. The recent excavation of a Bronze Age urban pavement changed this perception fundamentally, but the photograph of the sauceboat made the real impact. He became haunted by the idea that sauce was served here in a fine ceramic vessel, in a thriving settlement beside the Aegean, along with filo pastry, 5,000 years ago. He couldn’t shake this thought and image, of a level of finesse lost in his own life, a sauce boat, a boat for a sauce. This obsession took him to the original object, poorly displayed in a cluttered case in the local museum. Can they not see what they have here? He wanted to remove it, handle it, to actualise the grip and the balance in the angle of pouring. Three months later, in London, he traced around the outline of the vessel from the Palamari photograph, enlarged it onto a sheet of plywood, to carefully cut the outline. He subsequently held up this profile in front of a projector beam to perfectly replicate its sister image and prove, through this demonstration of shape, scale, function and enthusiasm, that this was something extraordinary, although his audience in a gallery on the Bow Road in December were perhaps less affected.

Earlier in the day he’d crawled out of the tiny window at the top of Yannis’ house, the only access onto the flat roof, the roof adjoining many others in a field of painted concrete rectangles that were almost private, overlooking the village on all sides, entering a communal arena with established and known boundaries, defined by property, history and ownership. He had the two telescopic stems, along with the mock self-study rectangle of mirror and the actual camera phone, two devices precariously held at the end of two fully extended sticks. It was intensely hot outside. Blinding light, grey painted roof-as-floor, hand-brushed white edging. He began the tipping, shifting, waving and balancing, moving erratically and at speed, mirror reflected in camera view as reflection of figure and horizon, in a near re-enactment of the London dance studio where this ritual surfaced. Who comes up here, out here, this is the moment, his two arms waving, phone filming integrated into the movement, losing the sense of what is fixed towards an empathy with the whole vista and an ease between function, ecstasy and purpose. No one watched him, oblivious though he was.

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