Sunday, August 10, 2008


Another essay that's part of the Sequestration Series. This one was written to stand alone from the others in the series, so that's why there aren't any references to the other images.

Meaning and Symbolism of Exodus

This image is part of a series dealing with the concept of sequestration that can be found in contemporary society. Exodus symbolizes an escape from these forms of sequestration. Sequestration in this sense signifies a withdrawal into a false reality that is simply given. There are many aspects in contemporary society that can distract a person from the things that are essential to that individual’s character and wholeness. This can be a voluntary withdraw or it can be involuntary as a result of situations and circumstance beyond the individual’s control. In the case of voluntary sequestration, this comes in the various forms of entertainment advertised to the public such as in television and shopping malls. Through engaging excessively in forms of voluntary sequestration an individual can easily lose sight as to what is important and essential to the individual and thus fail to engage and experience life to the fullest. As a result their sense of self is also neglected. Involuntary sequestration can be the result of oppression and can manifest a fear of exploitation. It can also come about as a result of structures in society and certain institutions that focus on strict rules that can teach away a person’s authentic self and creativity. These institutions usually focus on teaching people what to think instead of teaching individuals how to think for themselves. It can even come in the form of certain situations people are driven into, through their own doing or external circumstances.

Looking at the image we see a building that looks very run down. The tombstones, dead grass, and the objects strewn about the courtyard give a sense of disorder. This disorder and signs of death symbolize the restricted and lifeless existence that exists within sequestration. The building and courtyard surrounding it represent sequestration itself while the area beyond the building and courtyard seem to represent something more redeeming, a life outside sequestration. There are bars and boards nailed across the windows and doors and towards the top of the building we see an open window and ladder leading down into the courtyard. Because the boards are nailed from the outside rather than the inside this indicates that the type of sequestration symbolized here is most likely involuntary. The ladder and open window both represent the exodus from sequestration while the red bicycle near the exit represents a vehicle or catalyst of freedom. The area beyond the courtyard and building has very rich colors. The blue sky, green trees and plants represent the experience of freedom outside of sequestration. There are two signs near the exit, one near the ground with the word “Eden” written on it and one above the exit with the word “Caeli”, which is translated as “heaven” in Latin. This goes further to indicate what this reality from sequestration is like. It is a paradise, symbolized as “Eden” or the Garden of Eden, or heaven.

A life outside of sequestration, whether voluntary or involuntary, an individual is free from any outside influence and is able to define who they truly are and achieve wholeness. Within this reality an individual knows themselves through and through. This individual is never content with where he or she is because this individual knows there is always more to see, achieve, and know and thus reaches even further towards, and beyond, the highest standards. The path outside of sequestration is one that is often less traveled because it is a difficult and laborious path, but the possibilities and opportunities that follow are infinite and its rewards are boundless.

-Jason Godbey