JD Mersault

+15 Window Exhibition
October 1 to November 30, 2013

At the base of a monument, there is a detailed constellation map carved into the stone. The map shows the exact location of the star Alcyone in the September sky. Thousands of years from now, future viewers of the monument will be able to see the same sky, and the same stars, as the builders saw on the day it was completed, and the cosmic pith of the moment can finally be understood.

The monument is massive and beautiful, and everything about the place seems to demand the acknowledgment of a tremendous epiphany – that is, that objects wrought by human hands, once ideas in human minds, can become eternal.

As I stood underneath the monument the obvious truth broke upon me: nothing I would ever do would amount to anything. No star would shine forever in my night sky. My monuments would be made of sand rather than stone, and my name would be carved into water, only to evaporate. And yet I was calmed in a vast and imperceptible way. I had the singular feeling, alone in the shadow of this towering, terrible edifice of meaning and certainty, that my insignificance offered me something unequaled in value: A way to elude the otherwise inescapable hell of eternity.

JD Mersault is a writer from Canada. He laughs so loudly in the theatre that he is often asked to leave.

Listen to JD speak about his installation on CKUA Radio’s ArtBeat program.