What came of picking flowers?
February 13 — March 6 2016
Christopher Aque, Hannah Levy, and Alexx Marie Valencia
Saturday, February 13, 2016
I was walking through a field and from a distance noticed something on the hill. Black and white, I assumed it was livestock and kept walking. When I got closer I changed my mind. It wasn't moving and seemed to be tipped over on its side. Perhaps it's a piece of broken machinery. But when I was closer still, it became a cow again. The black and white was clear and now I could see also red.
It must have eaten leaves from the cherry trees that lined the fence near the river. The leaves contain cyanide and are fatally poisonous, even for cows. It was lying on its side, bloated from the rigor mortise; the left legs extending sharply towards the sky. Blood had drained from the rear, the snout, the eyeballs. It looked like it had been crying blood, a single drip marking the black fur of its cheek. The sun was high and the air languid. An extended family of flies hovered over the body.
Poison is defined as a substance that is capable of causing the illness or death of a living organism when introduced or absorbed. However, non-poisons can have comparable effects if experienced in large quantities.
This is commonly seen in alcohol, drugs, carbon dioxide.
Less commonly, in water, rhubarb, the sun and, of course, cherries.
The objective of staying alive is intrinsic to human behavior. Why would one drink gallon after gallon of water or sit, indefinitely, staring at the sun? Still, the figurative and literal membrane that separates ourselves from our environment could dissolve without warning. Perhaps, desire, isolation, dysmorphia are also poisons. We are corruptible; putting in our body things and in places our body.
Thinking now about that cow and the years that have passed since our encounter, I wonder if it realized what it had done, although already too late.
Christopher Aque received his BA from the University of Chicago and is currently an MFA candidate at Hunter College. He attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 2012. Aque has participated in group exhibitions at Practice Gallery, Philadelphia, and Laurel Gitlen, New York. He recently exhibited new work in his solo show I am, etc., at Regards, Chicago.
Hannah Levy received her BFA from Cornell University and her Meisterschüler from Städelschule, Frankfurt, Germany. Recent solo exhibitions include Live in yours, play in ours at Galerie Parisa Kind, Frankfurt, and Basic Essentials, at Allen and Eldridge, New York. Her work is concurrently on display with this exhibition at 247365, New York.
Alexx Marie Valencia received her BFA in Sculpture + Extended Media and Painting + Printmaking from Virginia Commonwealth University. Her work has been included in numerous publications, including Issues #1, compiled by Nicole Killian and Sarah Faith Gottesdiener, and Alone Together, compiled and edited by Grace Miceli.