Krzysztof Gil at HOS Gallery. Strange Fruits of Paradise Tree
Krzysztof Gil exhibition ‘Strange Fruit of Paradise Trees’ is presented as the story of biblical Ham.
Ostensibly, the biblical Ham, according to St. Augustine, came to this world, chuckling with maniacal laughter. He hadn’t been born dirty, nor had he been black. He became one such in time. The bane, or the curse of Ham is a story of a drunken father and inebriated patriarchy.
Noah bares himself in his tent and, while the remaining sons are trying to veil him in shame, Ham doesn’t look away. On the contrary, he is watching and laughing and, chuckling, he wipes the whole of the sacred off the embodiment. “Cursed be Canaan! A servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren.” Only because Ham knows the truth, he needs to become the one who lies, and only because the knowing makes him free, he must become enslaved. Ham is not a body marking other bodies with a hereditary stigma, but a myth that becomes a pretext for systemic exclusion.
Over the ages, Noah’s son became an embodiment of dirt and depravity, while the redemption of his imaginary sins—the foundation of slavery. His descendants were not supposed to be merely imaginings, as the Irish Bible had it, Celtic monstrosities and monsters, but also communities, ethnic groups and nations.
Ham’s laughter explodes the pre-existing order as it, paradoxically, allows us also to saw back the shattering vision of the world. It is a strategy of narrating looping perspectives, ambiguous obfuscation and white-outs, razed, but not identical categories – such as race and class – inequalities, imperialism, but also emancipation, transforming into consumption and wrath, which become fodder for the system, against which it had been recently aimed.