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Between the lines


Fertile soil, glass, chicken eggs


600 × 80 × 10 cm.

Natalia Khlebtsevich presents her project entitled Ab Ovo, which is an installation using raw eggs out of their shells, enclosed in the watertight Petri Dishes and dipped in black soil. In the course of the exhibition, as the eggs one by one spoil, the dishes are being covered with the humus. By the end of the exhibition the eggs are completely buried and what remains is only the patch of black soil.


The symbolism of the egg, as well as that of the earth correlates with fertility, death and immortality. The egg in the animal word is analogous to the seed or grain in the plant world. The ancients believed the egg is initially lifeless and only comes to life after a certain time period, as if reborn from the dead. The earth is destined to hatch it and then become its grave. The soil, or the earth is a symbol of both the beginning and the end, it can give life and also take it away. By combining the well known symbols of the beginning and the end of existence of all living things, this project contemplates the inseparability of life and death, the hope for rebirth  and the inevitability of departure.


The ancient Romans had the saying Ab ovo usque ad mala, from the egg to the apple, indicating the sequence of a meal with metaphorical meaning of going through all stages of a process, and, as applied to human life, from conception to the completion of life’s journey.

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