- by Janet St. John
Art & Soul Short #5
1st century. Peru. Nasca Culture. Ceramic H.17 3/4 x Diam. 10 in. (45.1 x 25.4 cm)
The Michael C. Rockefeller Memorial Collection, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Wielgus, 1964
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
In the News
Rhythm beneath the skin, the world. Da dum da dum da dum. A marching to battle. Heartbeat. Drum beat. Energy coils are meant to rise. But this snake is slithering downward, fangs seeking base, wanting to sink in, and take us along. Serpents stun, consume. A serpent can be a man, a hunger, a hell within everyone, reflected back. Da dum da dum da dum. A dangerous dance. A dirge. Our eyes the predators we revere. A man’s eyes, a snake’s, fixes on its prey, fixes on us. His hands clutch the tools he will batter us with—lies, disorienting delusions. He will beat us down to be so much smaller than his rotund sense of self. Da dum. A calling together. Da dum. A wake-up call to action. Rise. Oh, Serpent Inside, empower; enlighten; transcend. Beneath the surface of it all there is rhythmic beating. The lowest layer, bass and thump, is driving what the other serpent waits to play out, what that serpent plans to take. We must filter out excess noise, odious lyrics, sinister melodies, lean in to hear percussion's true message, and listen hard.
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