The first years
were spent with feet and hands in the sand, as has been proudly recounted time and again. That was, as they say, hard work after which we would return home heads held high, loaded down with a wonderful harvest.
There is still talk of the fat years, followed by a long period under the relentless hegemony of clay, due to which the foundations of the new house became unstable, the crops suffered and buying a cultivator could no longer be postponed.
Something simply had to be done.
This second soil was subject to a huge mishmash, as the recipient of untold eggshells whose skins had to be removed before crushing them and of smelly elixirs produced by the good witch-in-charge, which were supposed to encourage the release of nitrogen and combat the Colorado beetle. The straw had to make a contribution and so did useful, left-over weeds. The devas of the plants were invoked with great urgency and the desperate need for crops finally gratified.
And today? One single wormy tuber infested our garden with a fungus that felt so gloriously at home that the entire plot was immediately left to lie fallow. That was already three seasons ago. Since then, we’ve religiously checked on the soil, sniffed at it and examined it for signs of improvement. All that remains of the former days of glory are memories of sumptuous tangles of earthworms, toads occasionally impaled on a pitchfork, lush borage ensconced in the earth, sage transformed into lace by the slugs and, last but not least, potato fruit that rolled out of our hands into the wheelbarrows. You get the picture.
Boots firmly anchored in a furrow, you dig the last crumbs of black dirt out from under your fingernails.
Excerpt from texts by the artist as part of the exhibition No Edit Can Fail Tint