This week’s arts pick depicts a tragedy of almost unimaginable magnitude. Even a literal interpretation of this piece evokes the anger and sadness that accompany the destruction of a vessel filled with valuable fluid.
To experience the true pathos of this installation, however, viewers must transcend the literal and contemplate the subtext. Consider the medium: transparent glass. This material depicts the fleeting and fragile nature of happiness and abundance; at the same time, its transparency provides a glimpse of the soiled ground that is the final resting place of the disappearing liquid. Furthermore, the artist builds on the symbolism of the medium by shaping it into jagged shards that represent the shattered dreams of those who once tasted the sweet ambrosia contained within it.
Though the main subject of this piece is the broken vessel, the surrounding details add to the overall sense of despair. The seeping pools of liquid are bittersweet reminders of a beverage that will never fulfill its destiny. The black and broken figure symbolizes a defeated person who can no longer be whole after witnessing such a catastrophe.
This work is a brilliant piece by an obscure artist but is not recommended for audiences under 21 years of age. It can be seen for a limited time at Stoudt’s Brewing Company in Adamstown, Pennsylvania.