, 2023

Cridi los vius
Plori los mòrts
Bresi los lhauçes
Bolegui las prigondors
Agachi enlà de las aigas.    
I call the living
I mourn the dead
I break the lightning
I stir the depths
I see through the waters
J'appelle les vivants
Je pleure les morts
Je brise les éclairs
Je reveille les profondeurs
Je vois à travers les eaux

Located in the Lotoise village of Les Arques, this work is suspended above a natural spring in the Espace Natural Sensible marshlands. The bell is made from bronze, mixed with the copper and tin offerings of the town inhabitants, inspired by the story of a bell that disappeared fron the village church and was hidden, sunken in the sacred spring in the marsh. Its inscription was inspired by the first lines of a poem by Friedrich Von Schiller, entitled The Song of the Bell. The poem is written in German from the point of view of the poet as he describes his amazement at the making of a bell, this thing that sounds from the fires of the earth. But before he begins his description he lets the bell speak for itself-- in latin, with the first three lines cited here. Mirlesse added two phrases more, to reference the specificity of this story. She then asked the  inhabitants of the town and a group of local occitanien dialect specialists to discuss a translation, inscribed here into the bronze at the moment of the pour. The clapper, made from iron and steel, measures more than three meters in length and alternates between gently grazing or stirring the waters surface below, as a nod to the traditional hydromantic practices of the region, in which individuals could read the movements of the waters surface in response to the touch of their hand. In following the Quercy traditions of naming and baptizing a bell, it is called Aïga for the goddess of the stream just meters away.  



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