Genesis in Motion

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“I place myself at a remote, originary place of creation, where I assume formulas for men, animals, plants, earth, fire, water, air and, at the same time, all the circling forces.” ❤❤

Paul Klee, Diary IV

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Tree_Nursery,_Paul_Klee,_1929,_oil_on_incised_gesso_on_canvas_(detail)_-_Phillips_Collection_-_DSC04897 Paul Klee, “Tree Nursery”

According to the Book of Genesis (New American Standard Bible), “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters.” All other translations known to me prefer the word “hovering” instead of “moving.” I like the boldness and dynamism of this particular translation because it conceives of the act of creation as a clash of opposing forces; an expression of the energetic, potent and fructifying spirit acting upon the inert, receptive earth and waters. I thought about this while visiting an exhibition at Zentrum Paul Klee in Bern, Switzerland dedicated to the artist’s fascination and attempts at depicting movement in his paintings. The section of the exhibition entitled “Centrifugal forces of nature” has this as its motto:

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