Jim Carter
JIM CARTER


MYSTES
There are tongues, they will be ceased.
1 Corinthians 13:8
In the forest, as in the skull, there are levels of consciousness much less supervised by rational control, and from this legitimate dark a cry will appear as more or less unimpeded emotion. In the Hebrew language it is known as the hôy, a term associated with lamentation for the dead that yet lends itself to complex utterances. If I think of my work as an agent for the cause of the injured animal, then the hôy-word crystallizes as a reflex sourced from anger, grief or pain. It is a cry that resists the transgressor, or which makes pronoucements that tend towards vengeance and punishment (though the root is always in grief).

Of course, if we ally this sound to a gesture of the hand, then meanings become more numerous as well as emphatic. The right hand is closed and mute, and into this we can read ideas of secrecy and the hidden animal. The power and dominion of its hermetic silence is not denied the other hand, it is just of a different order. The left has occasion for sound, whereas the right does not, or ever needed it.
What are we to make of this hand that in form suggests the man but which is countered against him? Is it not man´s instrument with which to conquer, emblematic of his sovereignty and kingship? For the sign is raised more so to challenge his unjust and oppressive action than to accent his differentiating image. It expresses, moreover, the fire of the opposing animal which, as far as the work is concerned, lives in these woods with an occult and numinous quality.

The hand, especially with fingers extended, denotes command and invocation, but the left seems to be raised in a prohibitive gesture, and one which comes with a hex of judgement and attendant calamity (I imagine the intruder who crosses this boundary into a forbidden realm, subject to all the repercussions of a curse). In this sense, the hand is the watchman, warding the grove of the satyr or this land in possession of a pagan king. He has changed the meaning of the sign, for his is a hand that claws into earth in search of an underground sea.

(Work in progress)