Catalogue Essay: Nomadic Bounce, Jason Baerg, Project Space Gallery, RMIT
He took me outside with it held tightly in our left hands – as fists, the left closest to our hearts. We stood in the middle of Franklin Street beside a lonely tree planted in between the lanes, wind worn and weary. The ones that are having a hard time are the ones that you should touch. Place your hand on the tree, place your wishes in your left hand, move them there with your mind, then think on it: breathe. Then place it at the roots of the lonely tree; it goes back to the earth. Standing on a windy street in Melbourne city I felt a strange otherworldliness. I felt I was in two places at once – there [here], but also somewhere else. Maybe it was a place that I used to call my home. It was as if – with shut eyes – the street had melted away around us. The intangible dichotomy of place that forever pervades those who run from Home. The visions slip into each other. Sometimes you wake up staring at the ceiling, wondering where you exactly are. I tried to imagine what his home might be like, ceaseless prairies and endless horizon, and how he grew up in it. Learning about the world through the television: the nomadic voyager. Then learning how to escape home. I wondered if he was thinking about it as we held the tree in the middle of the street. Like him I’ve left home, but the constant push and pull is always there. It comes in a flash of wide sky and long grass. How is it to never be Home but be compelled to always return there, if only in your mind? Back inside in the warmth, he tells me about the Red, the Black, the Yellow and the White, and the Medicine Wheel, and how the Red, Black and Yellow couldn’t exist without the White, and the White, Red and Black couldn’t exist without the Yellow, and that each quarter of the wheel needed the others. He values the colours so much. They are important to him in ways I can’t begin to understand. And Blue, Blue is also important. The colours are the spaces in between, where the intangible ideas of the world can be recorded. The ideas are ambitious and transcending; he is the perpetual optimist. Acceptance, acknowledgement, equality and the universal: the Red, the Black, the Yellow and the White. I am curious about this wandering life, a constant journey to and from that place. People always ask where you come from and why you left. He might provide the geography but I see that he carries home in his mind. For that is one way to take the best of it. In a flash I see wide sky and long grass.