“Saussiche,” 2013. Chainsawed oak, cherry, locust, maple and hackberry rounds, hand built frames, dry-cured sausages and various hardware. 6′ x 5′ x < 8″

 

 

Every man looks at his wood pile with a kind of affection.

-Henry David Thoreau

     A woodpile has been said to represent a portrait of a woodsman’s prudeness, much as the cleanliness of the heel of a painter’s brush represents his patience. Woodpiles have fascinated me ever since my first winter heating with wood. I often look at woodpiles, sitting a year or two outside to season, as temporary lawn decoration. Between the repetition of shapes, the mix of colors and sizes, and the labor of sweat ingrained in each piece, stacking wood brings me deep physical satisfaction.

     Cooking, too, brings me much satisfaction. The concept of time in cooking is particularly interesting. There are moments when I feel pressed to dice, toss, and season dishes rapidly. These times are balanced by those instances I find myself waiting in front of the stove, willing a pot of water to boil or watching a sauce slowly cook down.

     These two physical processes, both honed by practice, and by trial-and-error experimentation, share more than just hands-on improvisation.  Each has its own vocabulary, its own rules, and its own history and timeframe. Each is a primal skill many have lost touch with in favor of faster, easier means.  Each is a creative and physical outlet that helps alleviate stress, and can bring happiness, but takes time and dedication.

     When I began sketching for this piece, I wanted to incorporate Beacon’s centennial celebration.  Fires atop the Fishkill Mountains once served as communication aids between Continental Army soldiers; these beacons subsequently became the city’s namesake. I wanted to somehow touch upon the concept of fire, or smoke.

     Saussiche consists of (unsplit) firewood rounds of varying diameters stacked in one of Carne’s windows. Three rectangular wooden frames are incorporated into the stack, and inside each of these frames there hangs a sausage.

The juxtaposition of firewood and caricature in Saussiche celebrates both the city, and the store, that my piece resides in, through two crafts and one-hundred years of practice.

Sam Horowitz

 

Saussiche | 2013 | Material