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Zenith

What is existence if not about finding a place in the sun?

Seeking protection from or exposure to the sun’s rays is of universal concern in the plant and animal kingdoms: from plants whose growth is guided by the sun to mammals searching for shade in hot weather.

Finding a place in the sun is an instinct as essential as eating and drinking. Under which tree or in which air-conditioned space will I protect myself from its heat? Through which crevice or window will I monitor the sun’s position? These are some of the questions, often trifling and unconscious, that every human being asks themselves every morning.

My interest in this question probably stems from my early childhood and my allergy to the sun. My eczema attacks made any excursion impossible. What other children took for granted – playing in the garden or swimming at the beach – only meant suffering for me. I hated the sun, and it took me many years to finally enjoy the feeling of its rays on my skin.

At its zenith, the sun’s grip on our minds is such that it barely allows us to think. It is like being knocked out by the blazing sun.

This is a time of day that can only be enjoyed outdoors if you let yourself go, let yourself be lulled by the sharp, pulsating shadows of the plant world.

The human mind needs to protect itself. It needs darkness, caves and enclosed spaces. The gloom cools our bodies and minds and makes the overabundance of visual stimulation bearable.  

Protecting ourselves from the sun is a behaviour acquired in childhood by trial and error. Any attempt to expose ourselves to the sun at its zenith results in screaming and crying, as if the overflow of energy radiating from the sun were being expressed and had to be evacuated. 

What the child learns over the years is to preserve the energy the sun gives them in the morning, and to protect themselves from it when it becomes overwhelming.

Once the child becomes an adult, they will always experience failures: periods between sleepiness and hyperactivity, moments of erotic tension, sensuality, the mind blurred.

The eyes hidden behind sunglasses, dazed by the sun’s harsh light, seek to evacuate an excess of energy.