Nadia Belerique & Sojourner Truth Parsons

Nadia Belerique & Sojourner Truth Parsons
August 9 – September 8, 2018

Opening reception: Thursday, August 9, 6:00 – 8:00pm 

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Daniel Faria Gallery is pleased to present “Don’t tell me that flowers must die, I know”*, an exhibition of works by Nadia Belerique & Sojourner Truth Parsons.

Exhibition inspired by, and in collaboration with, the garden on the edge of the pavement, across the street, created by Manuel Rocha (and God).

FRIENDS

In a very pretty garden
lived four butterfly friends.
The garden was very pretty
but it was a little dirty.

The four of them lived
inside a fallen tree trunk
that the ants had eaten
but the ants
went to live someplace else
where there might be fresher food.

They decorated the house
with dried scraps from nature
that they used to make
the furniture and the dishes.

They didn’t have names
they were named
for the perfumes
they brought from the flowers
each day.

Rose, Jasmine,
Nasturtium.

The garden didn’t belong to a house
it was a wild garden
that had grown
at the edge of the city.

Someone lived
in each trunk
and they had no enemies,

One day a mechanical flower
arrived in the garden,
a new computer
and all the little butterflies
went to welcome her
and shared their love
with her.

They taught her to drink sweet candies
from their bodies

-Life is a beautiful mystery
that I wish to share.
(Said the computer)

The butterflies were reflected
in her screen
and they played Madonna videos,
but Madonna sang
the oldest songs,
like “La Isla Bonita”
and since the butterflies
had never seen her before
they didn’t care.

Then the computer
got all wet
and started to cry
and the butterflies
made her a roof
of palm fronds
and mud cooked in the sun.
Through her
all the animals in the garden
(there weren’t many)
watched nature videos about
Africa,
and Brazil,
about animals from other countries.

And they all had fun
and laughed
and were happy.

Storms
never made them suffer.
Pain was from another region
because in the garden
nobody was afraid.

When the animals
communicate with each other
they express their feelings
and feelings are always understood.

The computer
was forever happy
and it was a lie
that she needed electricity
and that she depended on man.
She was free
because she wished to be
and earth was her food
water and fertilizer.

She even ate the fertilizer
from the vomit of the others
and she was happy
because that’s all she wished to be.

The computer
and the butterflies
loved each other so much
and they were lovers
together with Poppy and Rose.

They were all boys and girls
at the same time
because inside
where desires are hidden
there’s a switch
that goes on and off
and you can see it
in the eyes.

Madonna was far away,
so far away.
Maybe she’ll sense something one day
and go there.

One time Passionflower met
Cher
who was a boy,
another boy,
with another secret name
and she didn’t want him so she’d be happy,
all she wanted was to love him
and share things through
the screen.

Screens
also know how to give
and receive love.

One day they all put on
Fernanda’s dresses
and they were enormous
and so they cut them all up
and made from them
many many little jackets
to model in the garden
And they never paid her for them
but they left her
a little dead butterfly
which she kept
inside a book
until it disappeared.

-Mushrooms sprouted in the garden!

They all went to see
and the smiling mushrooms said:

-We’ll be gone when the sun comes up!
And we’ll leave you fibers
for making tea.

But the tea didn’t work
because mushrooms
don’t work there.

The mushrooms dried out
everyone drank
and they learned many things
about themselves.
The butterflies learned to die
on the rocks
around the river
and to be washed away by the water.

-Underneath the rocks
there are shiny places made of pearls!
Said some tiny little fish
while the ducks
opened their mouths
and drank down hundreds of them
and the little fish discovered
that the blackness of life
was more beautiful.

Beauty is happiness
when it’s angry.

-Why are you angry
Mrs. Happiness?

Black is a very beautiful color
when it is darkness
in black you can make out
special brilliances of stars
vivid colors shaped like stains.

Suddenly a storm came
unexpectedly
and everything turned dark.
Everyone went to their little houses
and the computer
lowered her palm frond curtains.
Everyone was watching
and thunder could be heard.
Everyone was watching
and piles of startled
little eyes could be seen.

The ducks stopped eating
and everything kept getting darker
and darker.

Meanwhile
next to the river
there was an open oyster
who nobody had met
she had come from the sea
walking on two pearls.
She was the most lovely oyster
they had seen,
the only one they had seen
but to them still the most lovely.

The oyster used her pink hands
to moisten her back
and opened and closed her eyes
and her eyelids
were like the skies.
And the oyster
whispered beautiful
songs into the water
without a guitar,
only her voice
it was a soft voice
but a bit husky.
She was almost speaking
and the whole garden
kept getting darker
and her voice
spread out into the river
and the fish were transformed by her song
into gigantic fish of china,
with brilliant scales like wings
that beat the river
forming waves
that bathed the oyster.

A minute later
it was all over.

The sun came out
and the fish were tiny again
and the ducks
opened their enormous beaks
and dozens of little fish
into the black.

The butterflies
and the computer
continued their romance
and the oyster was a turtle
and pearls were her little feet
and she was happy
feeding on the China rose
that the butterflies brought down to her
from the plant.

-And who cares about the little jackets?
They all said
and they returned them to Fernanda.

-Here, Fernanda
do whatever you want.

Fernanda was a rock
that was next to the river
and she was very heavy.

Together all the little animals
lifted her
and threw her into the river
and she was stranded
next to two other rocks that were sleeping
and she also slept
because she was hurt from the fall.

Beauty
put her feet in the water
because she’d been walking from far away
waking up every one of us.

Poem written by:
Fernanda Laguna and Cecilia Pavón
Published in “Belleza y Felicidad: Selected Writings: Fernanda Laguna
& Cecilia Pavón”
Originally published in Spanish and translated by Stuart Krimko
Sand Paper Press 2015
*exhibition title from Vashti Bunyan’s lyrics for I know, 1964