Manuel Abendroth, Jerome Decock, Els Vermang
Size: variable dimensions
Technique: 4 leaf clover
The project deals with the difference between ‘chance’ and ‘luck’; between its probabilistic dimension and its symbolic understanding. The artwork is composed of a clover field inviting the spectator to contemplate its chance of finding a 4-leafed exemplar, and its expectation attributed to this chance. Given its small size, clover, and especially four-leafed clover, is a symbol of happiness. The chance of finding one in nature is statistically evaluated as 1 to 10,000. As such the artwork confronts the possible with the probable tracing dialectics between rationalism and superstition. In Christian symbolism, the four-leaf originally represents the cross and the four Gospels. But throughout the time it has become a sign of luck not only to its rarity, but originally on the vigorous vital growth of these plants. Legend tells when Eva was driven out of paradise, she took a four-leaf clover which since then symbolically embodies a piece of paradise. In 1640, John Melton satirizes the superstition of the four-leaf in his satire Astrologaster, marking the first written proof of four-leaf clover as a symbol for luck. Through cultural history, the clover incorporates the opposition of an agnostic deterministic conviction with a romantic imagination. This classical tension between these two is further actualized by a dried and framed 4-leaved exemplar confronting a white clover; ‘Trifolium Repens L’ as a product of nature and the purple clover; ‘Quadrifolium Repens T’ as a product of genetic engineering which opposes imagination and manipulation. In a universe where everything is possible, we still need a spark.