Haikus, those 17 syllable Japanese gems, are traditionally verses addressed to some aspect of nature-On looking at Mt Fujiyama; On seeing the first cherry blossom-which the poet uses often as a vehicle to probe some deeper meaning or sentiment occasioned by the natural world.
I was reminded of this at last Thursday night’s opening of Elena Trejo’s installation “De Paso” at Juarez Contemporary. The main portion of her work consists of 19 circular stones openings into which she has placed one or more small stones covered with varying amounts of water. Trejo is ostensibly concerned here with rain ( not unsurprising in this desert) and how things look after the rain, although her larger goal is to make us take the time to really look at nature , to take the time to examine things we normally rush past.
The haiku is, of course, nature seen from the viewpoint of the individual poet, while these circular forms reflect no particular authorship. We can move through the piece however we wish-we can rush past each one, or we can stop and notice the individuality of the stone, or how the water beads on the surface; we can use each as a sort of meditation device and perhaps notice that which we normally wouldn’t.
There is also a video of rain, and another small piece, but the stones, taking good advantage of the large and uncluttered floor space of the gallery, call the most attention.
Like a good haiku, this is a deceptively simple and remarkably elegant show on view until July 18.