‘Flying Shell’ or the Monument of Ammonites!
Modern scientific research shows that there was a period in the history of the Earth that lasted for about a million years when the only form of life on the planet were giant seashells, called ‘ammonites’. The planet in those days was completely covered with water, and ammonites hung in the thickness of the world’s oceans, near the surface, feeding on the sun’s energy, joined to the ocean floor by their long stem-tails. They slowly drifted in the ocean waters as far as their stems would allow, and, according to my hypothesis, this million year period of the earth’s history was in fact a golden age, a time of earthly paradise, a time of absolute peace, enlightened tranquillity and harmony.
I think ammonites were endowed with the highest intelligence and were able to communicate with each other at a distance, and as far as I can tell, all subsequent philosophical activity of mankind is but a faint echo of their profound conversation. Their minds were so perfect that they required no further development. They didn’t need things to be happening, nor did they provoke history, and I suspect that their wisdom, like the green waters in which they were blissfully happy, reflects the subsequent turns of the earth’s history, including the long-term future, about which we so far still know nothing. Nostalgia for the great civilization of the Ammonites, as a manifestation of a certain embryonic human memory, has at times appeared in human culture and aesthetics. One may at least recall those periods for which the word ‘shell’ (rocco) was the root – Baroque, Rococo.
This sculpture is a draft monument to the great civilization of the Ammonites. The living, rustling tail connects the shell to the earth, she herself floating in the air, all knowing, without embarrassment, not knowing fear, regret, greed, anger, and craving for perfection. But she has already achieved perfection. And meditating in her direction, we will be able at least to a small degree to tune into her essence and virtue. The Shell will never leave us, she is always with us, she is the focal point of our brain. The most mysterious organ called the ‘middle ear’ or ‘snail-shell’. And, thanks to its presence in our body and in our soul, the most absurd and vile thoughts are balanced-out by the rustle of the ocean waves, constituting our ‘musical unconscious’.
© Pavel Pepperstein, 2016
Photograph by Nils-R. Schultze. www.schultze-krause.de
The exhibition will be open until 16th April 2016. http://kewenig.com/