The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain. Khalil Gibran
Lachrymae is a project based on the power of rituals. One hundred and thirty people from different parts of the
world participated in the ritual of cutting small papertears. The paper provided by the artist came from the
same source, giving a level of continuity to the project. An envelope containing these un-cut tears along with a
"proposition letter" was mailed out to individuals. They were also left at local coffee shops, laundromats,
libraries, and community centers. The collected tears were then incorporated into three pieces of work as a
documentation of this act.
- A small, narrow-necked vase found in ancient Roman
tombs, formerly thought to have been used to catch and
keep the tears of bereaved friends.
- Of or pertaining to Tears.(adj)
- Of, pertaining to, or constituting the glands that produce tears.(adj)
- Lachrymals, the Lachrymal glands.(n)
- Weeping or inclined to weep, tearful.(adj)
- Causing or tending to cause tears; sorrowful.(adj)
- Tear of christ.
- A table wine produced from grapes grown near Vesuvius, in Italy.
- A drop of the saline, watery fluid continually secreted
by the Lacrimal glands between the surface of the eye and
the eyelid, serving to moisten and lubricate these parts and
keep them clear of foreign particles.(n)
- This fluid appearing in or flowing from the eye as the
result of emotion, esp. grief.(n)
A few years back I came across a recording of a piece by
Benjamin Britten, titled 'Lachrymae op.48a'. The liner
notes included an essay written by Hans-Klaus Jungheinrich,
also titled Lachrymae. The essay was about the reason for
classical music taking a turn from a more positive commercial
form, with mainly entertaining qualities, to a darker side of
life, mainly dealing with grief; an area that hasn't been tainted
by brainless entertainment. He says that it's no wonder that
the music "of note" has become music "of need" and less
"beautiful" than it once was.
Grief, sorrow and sadness are usually related to loss and have
had negative connotations. The experience of happiness and bliss,
are possible only because of their counterpart. They are
inseparable. As Khalil Gibran puts it, "The deeper that sorrow
carves into your being, the more joy you can contain". For me,
joy has been just that. It is as if in the process of becoming real,
you become joyous. Since tears are also created by the two extreme
emotions of sorrow and bliss, we could say that there is a truth
or reality which is manifested within tears.
Maria, a character from a play by Albert Camus, talks about
how one must cry a foot of tears before anything grows.
This letter is a proposal to you or to anyone who would like to
participate. Enclosed please find a piece of paper covered with tears,
and two small yellow envelopes. Cut out the tears from the piece of paper.
Place the tears in an envelope, print your name and mailing address
neatly on the envelope. Then, mail it to the address below.
REMINDER: If there is more than one participant, use the small
envelopes provided to keep the tears separate. Please include your
full name and address with each set of tears.
(Do not use the small envelopes for mailing.)
While participating in this ritual I want you to think about your own
reason or reasons for doing so. It being injustice, ignorance or any other
wrong doing which you have experienced.
I don't know why I have taken the role of 'tear collector', but my wish
is to put these tears (your tears) in a collaborative piece that will
hopefully be exhibited. You will be notified when this happens.
There is only one guide line, and that is that all the tears should be cut
out from the same kind of paper. I think it is important to keep this unity.
If you need more paper for you or friends please contact me and I will
be more than happy to supply the paper.
The father in Tarkovsky's film 'Sacrifice', tells his son as they plant
a dead tree, that if you water this every day at the same time, one day
it shall blossom.