Commission for The Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center for Education and Tolerance

Commission for The Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center for Education and Tolerance

This Place, Everywhere

There is at the center of all things a context that surrounds a given moment. This context is measured by the intent of purpose giving rise to the particular of this moment. The making of a symbolic object that will carry with it the weight of the past, the acknowledgement of now and the betterment of the future as it relates to something as historically significant as what humans have done to other humans, is no easy task. The subject is so deeply embedded into the psyche of us as a people that we cannot do other than leave signs and clues along our path through life to mark that it is a part of us. The Holocaust seared humanity in the deepest of ways. It scarred all of us. We, as human beings, have seared and scarred ourselves with self inflicted wounds from the beginning. All in the name of making distinctions between race and religion, color and kind. It is our responsibility to note publicly the way forward.

I have chosen images with specific intent and configured them in such a way as to make a statement representing something of great depth. I started with the idea of a prism, a particular cut of angular crystal that reflects light in such a way as to tell us of the smallest and the largest in equal measure. I have chosen to use three prisms as the configured core of this sculpture. Each prism has a triangle at each end, which means the core contains a total of six equal sided triangles. Each of these triangular shapes has three flowers and three eyes growing from them. This gives us a total of eighteen flowers and eighteen eyes.

The six petals of each flower make up the building block of the shape in nature called a hexagram. This shape represents the six pointed star within the Jewish tradition. This hexagram shape is represented in the building blocks of nature as well as in the bedrock of human belief systems. As is the the image of the eye. It is in the eye contact of the newborn with its’ mother that the life bond takes place. Taken in total, the idea of three, six, nine and eighteen has real and metaphoric meaning.

The sculpture is titled "This Place, Everywhere". This title is meant as a reminder that we are in This Place and that we are also Everywhere. It is our responsibility to state and restate our personal memory of human history and to express it into the collective future. The sculpture is held in an upright position by three extended eyes which give support to the body of the sculpture. The eyes representing vision, vision into our past and envisioning our future. Collectively these prisms, flowers and eyes show us the way of the future. Memory in the now is our gift to the future. We must keep it close at hand and hold it with intent in our grip, all the while handing it to the ones to come. 

James