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Lito Kattou, Body V, 2020

Fire Sermon

PUBLIC Gallery / October 5 - November 5, 2022


Public Gallery is pleased to present Fire Sermon curated by Adriana Blidaru, a group exhibition of works by Ashley Bickerton, Lito Kattou, Cole Lu, Christian Quin Newell, Clementine Keith-Roach & Christopher Page and Rachel Rose.

“The river bears no empty bottles, sandwich papers,
Silk handkerchiefs, cardboard boxes, cigarette ends
Or other testimony of summer nights. The nymphs have departed.” 

Washing ashore are capsules of human civilization. The sea debris are all but burnt bodies. In deep time, things move in a great migration, swirling, slowly, smoothly: be it trash, eels, or monarch butterflies.

Inside, on the walls of the cave, you name the dancing shadows of animals and humans; some speak, some are silent. A delicate prey and a crackling fire put the world in motion.

The divine cyclops work relentlessly with fire to bend reflective armours, pitchers and other objects of desire; they melt sand for crystalware and blow eggs of glass to hatch.

There were critical questions that we missed together. Where does a landscape begin and where does a body end?

A celestial life spills mystery like dark oil: swirling, slowly, smoothly.

He goes back to his black forest. Every day he pours his question into her, like his grandfather poured bucket after bucket of water over their burning shed.

“What is a normal life?
What is a normal life?
What is a normal life?” 

She answers: “The great pixelated flames licking across the Earth’s vegetative surface are one with the intimate fire under the cooking pot, one with the flames of Bosch’s hell, one with Prometheus’ theft. The fire in your belly is the ancient food of heroes. Nothing burns like clay.”