"The Grapevine"

"The Grapevine"

Beth Haber
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The Grapevine - the picture literally represents  (Vineflora) Grapes of Eschol cultivated since ancient times, one of the seven species celebrated  on Tu b’ Shevat

"History hides in languages." 

The Grapevine was  Civil War slang for the telegraph invented by  Hudson Valley resident Samuel Morse.  It referred to the “lines of communication” flowing through the wires  carrying crucial messages from the battlefields. This was a new visual presence on the landscape, rapidly turning language into  an audible code.

In the South, African Americans would be sent to the post office to get the  transmitted messages for their masters, and so were often the first to receive the war news- which they quickly shared among themselves “through the grapevine”. The 1960’s Motown hit song “Heard it through the Grapevine” is a descendent of this reference.

The Artists description:

I am interested in the layering of history, ideas of flow and the allure and limits of transparency. The wrapped wine bottles that anchor the upper and lower staffs refer to traditional vineyard supports for the grape clusters as they grow, as well as the wire that wrapped the glass insulators used in telegraphing news in the 19th century- here forming musical bars entwining stereo wire that merge wine,  song and the coded resistance to  oppression.



24" x 44"


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