The Journey Back through documenta 14

I have foreseen and foresuffered all

– Aeneas in Seamus Heaney’s “The Golden Bough” (Virgil’s Aeneid 6, 98-148) from Seeing Things

I might have been a wise king setting out
Under the Christmas lights – except that

It felt like the forewaned journey back
Into the heartland of the ordinary.

– Philip Larkin in Seamus Heaney’s “The Journey Back”, from Seeing Things

As I return to documenta 14 tomorrow, first to Kassel (where the exhibition remains) and to Athens (where it has since departed), I do so with Seamus Heaney and his final work before his death (a translation of Virgil’s Aeneid Book 6) as my guide. Over the next week, videos of my earlier descent into the Kassel and Athens will accompany the first few hundred lines of Heaney’s translation as I return to find the place where the Golden Bough and the Golden Echo meet.

If today I had to predict where that would be, before making the return journey, I believe it would be a place in which I discovered the heartland of the ordinary at the Odeion in Athens.

Yet, I also wonder if I had not already foreseen the place where the Golden Bough and the Golden Echo meet, in a fragile exchange between two artists I saw elsewhere?

Either way, we shall see.

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