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Jesus by the Lake

  Every Day / You Play / With The Light / Of The Universe

Industry of the Ordinary create a portrait using a bitten apple.

The French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan once argued that as we develop language and understand ourselves as a part of the world – a system he called the Symbolic Order – we lose something. We lose a sense of completeness and connection with nature. This lost thing he called The Real.

We experience The Real, according to Lacan, at times of melancholia. While unpleasant, it is a passing phenomenon. However, during it we perceive ourselves as strange but whole.

We cannot be fully human without a knowledge of sadness. But to be completely human – to be completely ourselves – we need these temporary experiences of the Real.

Historically, the apple has done a great deal of work as symbol and mythical object, from the Golden Apple of Discord to the fruit William Tell shot off his son’s head. We also think about it as the issue of the Tree of Knowledge. Industry of the Ordinary borrow this most ordinary fruit to stand in for the self. But the complete self; the self that knows suffering, the self that has bitten the apple.

The title of the work, “Every day / you play / with the light / of the universe” is borrowed from Chilean poet, Pablo Neruda. The crystal apple plays with the light as it passes through the object. Every day, we all play with the light of the universe, and sometimes we suffer for it.


Fabrication by Allyson Reza and Ben Stagl (apple) and Kumiko Murakami (base).

Special thanks to Sandy Mullangi.