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A bronze relief and a poem by Renate Stendar



'Dance on a Volcano', one of the most recent works by the Swiss sculptor Renate Stendar.

Photo copyright 2006 Renate Stendar





We men live on a volcano,

Proud of our achievements,

arrogant and puffed up like a peacock.


We invent magnificent machines, without which we can no longer live:

beneficial are the machines of medicine,

but no longer desirable are the machines of comfort,

machines which think for us, machines for our luxury,

machines for industry and machines for killing.


And the energy, which these machines use, we seize without mercy

from a world whose wounds are no longer curable. But we look away.

We look away, when the machine becomes a monster that is no longer controllable,

with all the catastrophic consequences.


We dance, without realizing that the wall,

which we have built up around us to preserve our affluence,

cannot protect us any longer.

We dance, without noticing that our 'nest' made from cement

cannot be supported by the tree any longer

because its top has been broken and its roots are burning.

We dance, without noticing that our affluence already threatens to fall apart.

We do not want to notice it.


We want only this at all costs:

more of everything,

everything still better, everything still more luxurious,

everything still bigger, still faster, still more effective,

in spite of all the warnings by a raped Nature.

We do not want to renounce anything, and we do not want to see that

already very soon a renounciation will be horribly forced upon the whole humanity,

with greater and greater dangers.


The volcano is working.

We keep on dancing.

How much longer?





© PROMETHEUS 105/2006

PROMETHEUS, Internet Bulletin for Art, News, Politics and Science. Nr. 105, MARCH 2006