ARTIST’S PROJECT: HAZEL, HAZEL, HAZEL, HUT

by Matthew C. Wilson*

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Paracelsus—renowned Renaissance physician, botanist, alchemist, astrologer, and occultist— is buried in  St. Sebastian’s Cemetery in Salzburg, Austria

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I captured a spider from his grave and contained it in an empty saltbox.

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I transported the spider to a hut on a mountain close to a nearby village.

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I released the spider here, in the hut.

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The hut was empty when I first found it, but I built shelves and a stool, collected books, and stocked it with a bit of food—canned salmon and hazelnuts—as well as adding some odds and ends that seemed appropriate. If you are in Austria you can visit the hut here.

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I used a hazel twig from the yard of someone named Sebastian to capture the spider. This twig was joined with a hazel tree energy amulet and a hazelnut energy bar that I acquired from Alfred Svoboda, a folk healer and artist who lives in a village a few hours from Salzburg.

 

For this video, I asked Sebastian to read The Legend of Paracelsus over Skype, in order to draw together the loosened threads of the narrative in which I have intervened.

* Matthew C. Wilson received his MFA in Visual Arts from Columbia University in 2013 and will attend the Whitney Independent Study Program in 2013–2014.