Hayley Silverman at Bodega


Artist: Hayley Silverman

Exhibition title: Unmanned Lander

Venue: Bodega, New York, US

Date:  February 22 – March 29, 2015

Photography: Courtesy of the artist and Bodega, New York

A heap of broken images, where the sun beats,

And the dead tree gives no shelter, the cricket no relief

-T.S. Eliot, The Wasteland, 1922

The silhouette cast at high noon across the shaded saloon archway we know too well: from the crown of his Stetson down to softly clinking spurs. A dry wind blows.

Here on earth we suffer vigilante justice no worse than spat tobacco juice—when conceit, disease and apathy plague the desiccated land. Groundwater is poisoned by expectations of profit; plutonium put to sleep in the salt bed of petrified seas. Drained batteries, bruised Kindle screens, spent side-by-side frigidaires and sun-bleached polyethylene line the desert floor, where once an oasis would have been. Tumbleweed whipped against a chain-link fence spills soda can tabs and cerulean synthetic fibers from the grip of tender limbs.

Two thimble-fulls of tequila blanco resting on the bar top begin to tremble. Through the batwing doors, a woman enters, brushing sand from the thick braids twisted tightly into her long, dark hair. Behind polarized lenses, emerald eyes gleam:

Leave your biosphere blues behind, follow me to the subterranean empyrean.

A call for reprieve from the poor company of Nietzsche’s last men. Out of nowhere sparks fly; red smoke fills the air. A chasm gapes beneath your feet: through cement floor and paved street, a window thrown open to the cavernous void.

Deh, vieni! ti aspetto!

There is no limit that is not thought into being. What seems strangely out of nature in catastrophe is solitude.

-Kari Rittenbach