I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind.

What is crooked cannot be straightened;
    what is lacking cannot be counted.

I said to myself, “Look, I have increased in wisdom more than anyone who has ruled over Jerusalem before me; I have experienced much of wisdom and knowledge.” Then I applied myself to the understanding of wisdom, and also of madness and folly, but I learned that this, too, is a chasing after the wind.

 

For with much wisdom comes much sorrow;
    the more knowledge, the more grief.

Everyone’s toil is for their mouth,
    yet their appetite is never satisfied.
What advantage have the wise over fools?
What do the poor gain
    by knowing how to conduct themselves before others?
Better what the eye sees
    than the roving of the appetite.
This too is meaningless,
    a chasing after the wind.            (Ecclesiastes 1:14-18; 6:7-9)

 

 

The phrase “a chasing after the wind” occurs five times within the passages I have selected. This short dance video was created in reflection to that phrase.
 
My creative process is about responsiveness rather than execution. In my first post for this residency I wrote out a clear artistic goals for myself. But over these several months I can see that my work takes a less direct path. For all of the work in progress videos I had intended to use locations near my home in Essen, Germany; but while at an artist residency in Ghent, NY I spent several days collecting video of me dancing in the fields. After looking at the material I began to see a connection to the texts in Ecclesiastes and it sent me on a journey of questions:
 
Is chasing after the wind a bad thing?

Is it meaningless in that is cannot see what you are after?

Is it meaningless because it is un-catch able?

What or who is the wind?

Is the wind strong or gentle and thin?

Should the wind move us?
 
In this video I am seeking after something, something that is not seen. My movement is often passive, not extremely vigorous. I see that I am grasping at something. I move the camera in search of “it”.  The days I worked in the fields the air was thin. I did not have much to clutch. I did not feel the wind on my skin or through the trees. Where did you go, wind?

 

 

from Stephanie Miracle on Vimeo.

 

 

Read Stephanie’s first and second post to follow the development of her 2016 Artist in Residence project.

View Stephanie’s previous work created for Spark and Echo Arts: Treasure Heart.

Read Stephanie’s artist bio here.

 

These materials are copyrighted by the artist and used here by permission.

 

Help more artists create works on biblical text by donating to Spark and Echo Arts.     

All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. www.zondervan.com  The “NIV” and “New International Version” are trademarks registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Biblica, Inc.™

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