Starcatcher

Starcatcher vangt sterrenstof, in een nachtelijke hemel vol vallende meteorieten. Dit beeld van lindenhout maakte ik in 2024.

Het is een beeld dat begon bij de vondst van een oude houtsnede uit 1888, gemaakt door Adolf Vollmy. De inspiratiebron was de gigantische meteorietenregen (Leonids) die in de nacht van 12 november 1883 de oostkust van de Verenigde Staten passeerde. Mensen raakten in paniek en renden de straat op. Zeker de gelovigen riepen dat ‘het einde van de wereld’ was gekomen, zoals deze in de Bijbel is aangekondigd. De houtsnede van deze ‘Apocalypse’ werd dan ook afgedrukt in een boek van de Amerikaanse adventisten, de ‘Bible Readings for the Home Circle’.

Het einde van de wereld

Fascinerend dat ‘het einde van de wereld’ door de eeuwen heen een blijvend thema is gebleken, steeds gevoed door actuele gebeurtenissen. Vandaag is de uitputting en vernietiging van de natuurlijke hulpbronnen aanleiding voor voorspellingen van het einde van de mensheid. Zelfs wetenschappers durven de stelling aan dat wij mensen het geen miljoenen jaren gaan uithouden. Dat zou dus korter zijn dan de dinosaurussen, die zo’n 165 miljoen jaar de aarde bevolkten. De ‘homo sapiens’ bestaat nog maar 300 duizend jaar.

De meteorietenregen van 1883.

“Angels surround everyone’

In 2023 ontdekte ik ook Esther Rose, een Amerikaanse zangeres uit het alternatieve country circuit. Met haar lachende stem bracht ze een prachtig album uit: Safe to Run. Voor het titelnummer nam ze voor YouTube een muziekmovie op. Daar zit ze op een gegeven moment op het dak van een rijdende auto, de armen hoog geheven, alsof ze vleugels heeft. Ook haar tekst gaat over het water dat ons begint te omringen -als gevolg van de smeltende ijskappen: ‘You know there is no place. Safe to run. Angels surround everyone.’

Esther Rose in ‘Nowhere to Run’

Een boek als wapperende vleugels

Die twee beelden wilde ik in ‘Starcatcher’ combineren; de meteorietenregen met een omhoogkijkende zangeres die zich omringd waant door engelen. De meteorieten als illustratie in een groot opengeslagen houten boek, wapperend, als vleugels. De zangeres daarvoor zwevend.

Maar gaandeweg veranderde de zangeres. Eerst in een Olympisch zwemkampioene, fors gespierd met brede schouders. En daarna, toen ik het haar niet uitwerkte maar in een hoge kap verborgen liet, ontstond de associatie met een Egyptische priesteres. Zeker nadat ik de kap vergulde met een flinterdun laagje bladgoud. Maar wel een priesteres met het rode jurkje van een nachtclubzangeres aan.

Welbewuste geschiedvervalsing

‘Starcatcher’ werd zo mijn commentaar op alle bewuste miscommunicatie en geschiedvervalsing op internet en in de media. ‘Alternatieve feiten’ zijn de sprookjes van deze tijd, met volop mensen die er nog in geloven ook. Ik vind dat moeilijk. Ook Esther Rose maakte de meteorietenregen van 1883 niet mee. En al helemaal haar sexy alter ego uit het Egypte van voor onze jaartelling niet. 

Surrealisme als antwoord

Surrealisme is, hoop ik, een goed antwoord op de bewuste vervalsing van geschiedenis en feiten die nu zo’n grote vlucht heeft genomen.

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