After a string of dismal, rainy days… at last a good day for leaf hunting. My concept is this: walk around the city (a flâneur in the spirit of Baudelaire) not-looking-yet-looking for appropriate sites for the staging of Leaf A Message. The first requirement for a site is suitable foliage. Although this may sound easy in a city with millions or even billions of autumn leaves waiting to fall, it became clear today that only leaves of a certain size and coloration will really lend themselves to stamping with ink. The next requirement, sort of, is what is commonly known as “inspiration”… elusive and intangible by definition… in other words, What, exactly, will i stamp on the leaves that will be (collected and then) dispersed at this specific site? So far i’ve located several promising sites for my project…
A short distance from the studio (which is at Boston Center for the Arts, on Tremont Street in the South End) is Peter’s Park. It didn’t take long to recognize the theme of this urban oasis: DOGS. Or, i should say, dogs and their people. Sandwiched between Shawmut Ave and Washington Street – where those streets meet E. Berkeley Street – the park maintains a hyper-awareness as to those areas where dogs are welcome, and those where dogs (no matter how cute) are outlawed.
Granted, i am not a dog-owner – or a “dog person” as the expression goes (and yes, for that matter i do consider myself a “cat-person”…) – but never, since watching Planet of the Apes in the 1970′s let’s say, have i so acutely sensed the arbitrary line drawn between several species… Drawn, i should add, exclusively by those who position themselves at the center of the entire Universe, the Humans… Are we really that much better than dogs, after all? What if another species had to constantly clean up the messes we make on planet Earth?
Here is the stamp that i have prepared for the leaves of Peter’s Park: