Is there not, perhaps, some value to tending to the work of life with both hands. To caring for children and mourning and taking care of a house and family and the sick and dying. To turning to our lives and families and people with our whole selves and not reserving something in us, to stand apart, unravaged and still capable of producing culture. Is there not some value, some artistic value even. Is there nothing for which the cessation of production is justified. Is there not some part, integral to the making of our essential work, that we allow to remain intact by letting all of our labor serve love, serve life, serve living things and their needs in life and death, by letting ourselves be subsumed by grief. Even for years. Could there not be work that can be made in no other way, from no other place than on the other side of those years.
The exhibition takes its title from a scene in the film Children of Paradise, which was made during the German occupation of France, and released after the liberation. During the shooting of the film the composer and the set designer, both Jewish, remained in hiding. Many working on the film were in the resistance and some escaped when the gestapo came to arrest them, and some did not. After the liberation, one of the actors was sentenced to death for collaborating with the Nazis and his part was reshot with a replacement. The lead actress carried on an affair with a German officer for which she was later tried and convicted. When filming banquet scenes, the food was poisoned, because the starving extras kept eating it before they could photograph it. The movie is three hours and ten minutes long. It is divided into two parts, and after the first half, a title card appears, which reads: Several Years Have Passed.