Doug Beube
Feast

1993
bible, honey, night table
27 x 16 x 14 in.
The opened drawer of a nightstand, reminiscent of a motel, reveals a bible submerged in honey, its pages turned to the passages on time and change in Ecclesiastes. But here The Word’s “purpose” under heaven is subdued by time itself—and, with it, all our expectations about books and their reading. The viscous liquid ages and gathers dirt, dust, hair, and insects. Eventually the bible drowns in its own “sweetness” and is obscured from the viewer's gaze, its “time to speak” having surrendered to “silence” as it is feasted upon by foreign organisms rather than the reader’s eye. Now the viewer can smell the aromatic bouquet but cannot savor the words; the amber substance has irreverently archived and finally effaced this potent cultural icon.
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