The Temple to Black Johns in Latvia
View of the Temple to Blaxk Johns
Name of exhibit:
"The Apple Orchard Speaks"
Place: Visitor's Room at "Kalnini",
Braslavas pagasts (instructions of where and how to reach us can be located by searching earlier entries).
Earlier entries are worth looking at.
Eso Jaņdžs is a writer, sculptor, and self-elected priest at The Black Johns Temple representing the arch-Christian point of view. The Black Johns Temple believes Christianity to be a continuum, which includes the points of view of ancient myths, not to mention arch-Christianity--the Christianity that preceded neo-Christianity.
My decorative asparagus, what's left of it in spring.
When a few years back a local apple orchard was being cut down to turn it into a field for rotation crops, Eso Jaņdžs scrambled to save some of the trunks that had not been carted away and cut into firewood.
The trunks of these 'saved' apple trees were laid away to season. Now the seasoning is done, and the trunks have been transformed by Eso Jaņdžs into talking figures. By exploiting a phenomenon called "pareidolia", a subjective process that each viewer brings to his or her viewing experience, the sculptor lets the trees speak for themselves.
When sanding the time tortured apple tree limbs and trunks, the sculptor was reminded of Rodin's "Citizens of Calais" http://www.flickr.com/photos/30638010@N03/3270199151/and of course of Chekov's "Cherry Orchard" http://sarahlambert.squarespace.com/picture/cherry%20orchard%201%20copy.jpg?pictureId=6231279&asGalleryImage=true . The viewer is likely, too, is likely to see in his-her mind's eye the connection.
Posing for vanity's sake.
Eso Jaņdžs has exibited his work at such far off places as Edgartown, Martha's Vineyard, USA, 1967 (sculpture)--yes, that far back, and Agija Suna Gallery (paper prints) in Riga, Latvia, as recently as June 2011.
Eso Jaņdžs does also murals. The artist's attick studio in the countryside, now the events room at the Temple to Black John, was among the month of July features in "Lilit" http://www.lilita.lv/galerija_izdevn.php?lang=lv&zurnals=47&zid=2011&count=6 , a Latvian journal of note.
The current exhibit, re "The Apple Orchard Speaks" may be viewed at the Temple of Black Johns events room. All viewing by arrangement through the email at this blogpost. Prices upon request (starting at Euro 50,000).
Black John walks through the wall.
The history of the Johns is a complicated one, but reader will remember that names such as Janis, Jean, Johann, Ian, Angus, Huan, Han, etc. are all related to one and the same root. The root may be gens (gans--herder in Latvian), from which spring such words as gendarme, jannisary, gentlemen, not to mention dun-geon, John the Baptist, and many others).
Eso Jaņdžs believes the Johns (there were many) to have been the Sacred King's messengers. Since no sacred city from which such messengers could have come forth is known from either recent or near ancient historical times, it is possible that the office and the name go as far back as 10,000 years, to before the time of the last shift of the Earth's tectonic plates http://www.mdrtalk.org/ (go to "When the Sky Fell") all at one time.
The Temple to Black Johns (Melnays Jānis) is dedicated to forests, forests that have been cut down and whose grounds have turned to desert. One of the first sculptures of Eso Jaņdžs was a variation on The Saw-Cross. Incidentally, it is probably the only original cross of the last few hundred years. The cross speaks of deforestation, the Saw-Cross suggesting a saw cutting across the trunk of a tree.
Black Johns / Melnays Jānis
In the course of time, the Saw-Cross appeared to the sculptor in a number of shapes, one of the shapes being that of "Black John", the center piece of the temple's platform.
|The temple meeting place and Black John|
The temple is the site of many "trees that were". These 'trees' are scattered individually and in clusters around the temple grounds.
The temple is located on the grounds of a once upon a time household residence, which has decayed due to the changes in modern times. That is, the household as an institution and subsistance level economy ever since the beginning of time was not to be part of either the the 20th or the 21st century.
Eso Jaņdžs purchased the land, and placed the icon of the Saw-Cross over the cemented foundations of what was once a hay and cowbarn. The site of the once house proper now holds a large tent-like shed, an open space for summer family get-to-gethers, concerts, or other social occasions.
The following photographs are of apple tree trunks in the process of being sanded, covered with a layer of lindseed oil, and otherwise being "presented". The viewer is invited to try visualize the sculptures as a group of apple tree beings conversing among themselves.