This piece plays off the fact that Descartes’ famous “cogito ergo sum” is, at heart, a tautology. To say, do, or be anything is to be. One might as well simply grunt as proof of being. However, the phrase “ergo sum” is repeated twice in this work. One is legible in a straightforward manner. The other is a graffito style lettering that hints at being the initial part of the sentence on which the smaller “ergo sum” is a dependent clause. Beautifully, the inscrutable word radiates as if from on high. Simultaneously graven image and unspeakable, this word suggests YHWH, the great “I AM,” of Hebrew scripture. As Karl Rahner’s anthropologic theology might point out, here lies the ground and goal of individual being. Never the less, the graffiti literally reads, “therefore I am/ therefore I am.” Such an existential cry suggests that whatever the ground of being, one requires self-expression to realize the totality of one’s identity. The appropriateness of the graffito style is now evident. While all art aims at self-expression to some extent, graffiti embodies this existential cry as its main goal: I AM.
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