Of Milk and Honey, Hair and Blood

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Notes departing from Deniz Eroglu’s exhibition “Milk & Honey” @ OVERGADEN

Slower still is the drip of honey. Solidifying into crystals, replicating the patterns of geology. Clusters and grids, mounds and perfect droplets. Honey is a balm, now bal. The old word làl, a syrup on the tongue, a slower way of letting sound spill, with words that land soft as the down of a honeybee.

As in the offering of “Honey, Nabidh, Water and Milk” [4], nourishment to the messenger of the first word, the clean word, the light word. Luxurious, slow liquids, milk and honey are as blood, of the body, the most intimate secretions, drawn out of life and giving life.

Babylon saw honey used in exorcism rituals, unbinding the wicked spells of witches and sorcerers, wishing honey upon them, “may her mouth be wax, her mouth honey, may the word causing my misfortune that she has spoken, dissolve like wax. May the charm that she has wound up, melt like honey” [5]. Honey brings the seat of the self back within. The healing qualities of honey – soothes wounds, grows tender skin over open sores, makes clean. Honey of southern Turkey is fragrant with lavender, pine and wild flowers, all the untame things that put to shame the well-bred flower. Darkest red honey rushing to your lip, your bottom lip as I pull with my teeth, your lip the hue of hands parting the body’s darkest interiour flushed hot garnet, the innards of the earth turned outwards, blushing as the juice of šumuttu pierced.

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