artist statement: in between

In Between (Sifnos, Greece)

These snails perplexed me. I walked past them every day or two for a month. Whenever I checked, each one was in the same exact location that it had been when I first noticed it. It was as if the entire group had decided to stop mid-journey and stay forever; exposed, helpless, and vulnerable, in a place with no visible food or water.

After doing a little research, I found out that when snails encounter incompatible weather conditions, e.g., too hot or dry, they shift into hibernation mode. The summer version is called estivation, during which time they secrete mucous over their bodies to protect themselves from the weather and go to sleep. If environmental conditions are not suitable, snails can sleep like this for up to three years, bogged down between coming and going.

I wonder … How long will these particular snails remain immobile, stuck in one place? Are they capable of emotion? If so, do they feel hope or despair, or something else? Will they ever be able to continue on their way?

And finally … does their predicament remind you of anything you have faced? Have you ever been stuck, In Between?

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