Rite of passage: from imagining to making by Elena Molinaro

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Weeks after TEST, the lemon slices are still present. Yellow and bright they evoke the power of Greater Intelligence, which according to Mayan cosmology is yellow in colour, sunflower to lemon.

They multiply and accumulate in front of my eyes to form a big yellow circle made of hundreds of lemon slices. I crouch and recline to humbly kiss the yellow ground, dark hair flows over the lemon puddle. How many lemons would I need?

Split between the diaper and pure individual creation, I am taken over by the demands of maintenance and leave my lemon dream for another time.

A few weeks later on a Sunday morning, as I sit still in meditation, the lemon slices roll into my vision suggesting unseen ways of preserving the new. Dreaming wide awake, they entertain and sooth me. Other characters are marching in and Tump is now polarised by the power of people like Louise Bourgeois, Martin Luther King, Dorothy Height, Daisy Bates, Nelson Mandela, Frederick Douglass. Initially invoked during the collective spell we put on Trump and his fucking wall, they too are still present. The images become stronger and more vivid, I can’t ignore them anymore. I must turn up to pure individual creation. I leave my meditation chair to go and buy 125 lemons, 95pence each net, 5 lemons in a net. Before cutting, I build a wall. I fit the 125 lemons in it; I play with the images and body of my heroes and anti-hero. It doesn’t fucking work! I need to follow my original vision; I need to slice 125 lemons. How long will it take? The sunlight is going, the deadline is approaching and tomorrow I’m back to maintenance work.

We slice, I pile, I throw, I arrange, we slice, I pile, I throw, I arrange, we slice, I pile, I throw, I arrange, we slice, I pile, I throw, I arrange, we slice, I pile, I throw, I arrange. In a game of back and forth. Repetition clears away my worries. As daunting and repetitive as the task can be, I always feel good when I see ideas coming into being. The circle has been created. The smell is zesty, uplifting and cleansing. The image is powerful. The contact with the lemons is cold and wet, not so pleasant. I crouch; I play. The image shifts from my mouth, into my hand, onto the lemons, in front, behind me. For two hours I bend over. My knees are hurting, my feet are sticky, and my whole body feels exhausted yet incredibly alive and satisfied. Thinking of where and how to dispose the lemon waste, I wonder: who is going to pick up the garbage on Monday morning?

PS on collaboration: my deep gratitude goes to Danal who agreed to pose for me in the lemon wall, who was honest to tell me it didn’t work and the lemons were cold, who was happier slicing 62 lemons, who questioned my process with insights, who took the pictures and listened to how I wanted the pictures to be taken, who faced the dominatrix, and shared the picking up of the garbage with her on Monday morning.




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