Red Poppies

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It’s almost too beautiful. The red poppies in the wheat field swaying gently in the wind, the buzz of insects and birdsong. There is just time to wonder whether one can simply show beauty like that when an ominous sound short circuits the beauty with a red shock. A short circuit, and then the beautiful summer field is back again, but now one watches more warily, waiting for the screen to turn red once more.

Red Poppies is a picture of immediate beauty and fragility. The poppy with its delicate red petals, which loses them all as soon as one has plucked it. The poppy, which bleeds through so many poems, and which has become a symbol of the many who fell in Flanders Field during World War I. There the red poppies flower among the endless rows of white crosses, and it is with red paper poppies that in England the meaninglessness of World War I is commemorated each year on Remembrance Sunday.

Facing Red Poppies the viewer stands in the very interstice between beauty and its meaningless interruption, the basic condition of our vulnerable lives.

Eva Koch © 2006 / 16:9 / 1:08 min / Video

Edited by Niels Plenge · Text by Mai Misfeldt