GLEN VILLA The Memory Posts

In Transit / En Route: the beginning

In my post last week I mentioned In Transit / En Route and showed a photo of a clearing in the woods. Here’s the photo again.
                        

In Transit/En Route: the sundial clearing in the woods
 
Do you see the red sign in the clearing? It is part of In Transit, or En Route in French, an installation
I created in 2011. In Transit / En Route is not an installation you can see at a single glance. You have to take time to walk a trail that stretches about a kilometre through the woods. And you have to think about what you see.
 
The trail starts in the upper field, just above the Skating Pond.  There’s a sign at the edge of the woods. Most people notice it because of the colour. 

Two visitors stand beside the first sign, the start of the In Transit / En Route trail.

 

The sign is a red square with a circle cut out of the middle. Some people may recognize the Chinese influence on the design. Others may not know that the Chinese use the circle in the square as a traditional symbol for the universe. 

The circle in the square: symbol of the universe

It doesn’t really matter. Whether they recognize the symbolism or not, when they see the sign, almost everyone does the same thing. They walk up close to the sign to look through the clear circle. What they see is nothing special, simply a portion of the forest, with nothing added and nothing taken away.

 
Some scratch their heads at that point and turn away. Others stand back to take another look. They are the ones who notice the words printed on the red background.  They squint, try to puzzle it out, to separate the run-on words, French and English, divided only by a question mark. 
                  

whereareyou?oùêtesvous?

The trail continues… next week