What are we so afraid of?  (2023)

(32 minutes 5 seconds)

Once again...  fear. 

An ugly (or beautiful) disfigurement of the alabaster effigy of a 14th century English bishop, about whom suspicions of involvement in witchcraft abounded, perhaps just for having the word hare in his name. There is no example of any other such extensively 'tattooed' object locally or nationally so this specific one has quite literally become a ritual site for hundreds of individuals, going back centuries. 

My modern eye finds resonance between these artless scratchings and the forest of glyphs that many people now have all over their bodies. 

This jumble of letters and symbols, a fearful attempt to protect one source of fear from another.  Witchcraft was once a respected and feared practice, at a time when the institutions of the church, pushing their own brand of fear, were in fact often the biggest institutional perpetrators of malfeasance. 

This film silently explores the surface of the scupture in slow detail amidst an extruded ambience of the space; saying nothing, adding nothing, as the mind assimilates the sheer volume of time, humanity and intent.


Some excellent further study on this fascinating object by Christopher Binding can be found at: https://issuu.com/christopherbinding/docs/john_harewell_paper_13th_version