Ash, a video broadcasted on a single channel made of two windows connected one another, is the latest of a series of artworks carried out by the Masbedo in Iceland. The artwork, shot during the eruption of the Eyafjallajokull volcano, which paralyzed the skies around the world, represents a clear metaphor of the sublime and utterly powerful, hostile and primordial nature, rebelling against men’s material whims, thus forcing them to seek comfort in the act of hoping and praying. Ash stands as the ash compelling men to physically “cover their mouths”, lower their eyes to the earth and gather together in a church (in fact it was the only structure in the small town of Vik, located on the hillside of the volcano, where one could find a shelter); it is ash as the indisputable warning concerning every man’s destiny; it is ash descending from the sky by obscuring the light and plunging us into the darkness, the pre-eminently image of the apocalypse. In Ash, the Masbedo show how nature of such incredible beauty can overwhelm men and escape any human effort aimed at imposing meaning and rules; in Ash standing out are the feelings of powerlessness, danger and fear and the condition of submissiveness, as interior states of the human soul.
July 11, 2013