-The Forgotten Guard by Vangelis Kyris / HELLAS
-The Forgotten Guard by Yannis Tsarouchis, 1957
Why did you leave Morocco? Are you in self-imposed exile in France?
In order to become an adult every person has to leave his home town and go to another city, or another country. When I was thirteen, I decided that one day I would go to Paris in order to be what I wanted to be: A director and filmmaker.
Do you think setting out on one’s own is especially important for those of us who are homosexual and have experienced alienation in the culture that we grew up in?
No, I don’t think alienation is a specific thing to homosexuals. Heterosexuals are also alienated. The problem with homosexuals is that they are not accepted from the beginning. Where I come from, homosexuals allegedly do not exist, which is a horrible thing to live with and to accept. I had no other choice but to accept this non-existence. We could call this exile, meaning that your people, the ones who say they love you, that want to protect you, that want the best for you, and give you food—milk, honey, and so many other things—they deny you the most important thing, which is recognizing you as a human being.
My life now is part of a process I started many years ago. To be able to begin my life I had to cut myself off from my family, even though I was still among them. I started to speak to the world in my head. Today the writing, commentary, and even speaking to you right now is a continuation of that.
There are men round these parts who would kill us,
I joke, Were they to find us in one sleeping bag,
they’d tie us to the tail ends of their pickup trucks
and drag us through gravel, I embellish. It happens.
Your mother would, too, you say, sealing the last
mesh panel of our tent, and having had the better
joke, you fall heavily into sleep, the way I imagine
most Texans do after supper, substantially and deep.
But how I lie awake, instead, convinced now a mob
must be assembling, that there are men in these hills
with unkempt eyebrows and rope and fire and spit
on the ground, and my mother is among them—
convinced now that each nightingale call is not,
in fact, a nightingale call, but a signal of formation,
convinced that there is whispering among the pines,
as they sift themselves against the thistle, the dry breeze,
and she is there, too, wild-eyed and unmoving,
sensing our bodily warmth, our pitiful heartbeats.
They are waiting for me to sleep before entering,
to find us as two men embarrassed and discovered.
And they will take you from me and into the darkness,
beyond the boathouse, where I know they will do
things to you that will make you want to die,
and my mother will be there to hold my wrists down
for men with rough hands to coil rope around them,
tying rushed knots. She will be there to hush me,
assure me, the way one does a child with a loosening
front tooth, This hurts me, dear, more than it does you.
— Angelo Nikolopoulos
Yannis Tsarouchis (Greek, 1910-1989), Kekias and Zephyros, 1966. Oil and acrylic on cement tile, 30 x 30 cm.
Stephen Dunwell: Cap Haïtien, Haiti, 1975
The title of the work is identical to a series of photographs by Huseyin shot in Odessa, showing curtains blowing in the wind. These images inspired an installation of hardened lace curtains, frozen in time and space. The work refers to the gesture of opening the windows to set free the soul of the deceased, as well as the idea of a spirit present in a room, mysteriously lifting the curtains to reveal its presence.
Gabriel Lester,Melancholia in Arcadia (2011)
All rights are reserved. Photography by Peter Cox.
Rabo Art Collection
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