Hansjörg Göritz  Studio

< Chronicles

June 2015

The Gift of Simple Things -

Revisiting Cades Cove Tennessee


'Tis the gift to be simple, 'tis the gift to be free

'Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be,

And when we find ourselves in the place just right,

'Twill be in the valley of love and delight.

When true simplicity is gained,

To bow and to bend we shan't be ashamed,

To turn, turn will be our delight,

Till by turning, turning we come 'round right.'

The Shakers


Each time visiting guests are taken to Tennessee's real Americana places Cades Cove is a setting to flee the talkative clutter of our fun time's meaningless pastiches and to find true content in the eloquent silence of self-evidently placed and crafted artifacts. Getting prepared for teaching summer novices at Auburn is a good moment to be reminded of Hansjörg Göritz to have taken Tennessee students to Cades Cove and the Kentucky Shaker village Pleasant Hill for years. Reading the landscape, reading the place, making the place, materializing reason could not be else but just right. No romanticism is necessary for comprehending the prosaic pragmatics of a plain past that had no choice other than making things to purpose and working the land. If it was not for the New Deal and its national park, Appalachia's legacy would have been dollarized for disposable write-offs or doll house developments cast in vinyl. The lesson is not rural style but rather to choose our time's true challenge to play around less and work us away from today's travesties of ridicule whim, towards true design apparent in the absence of intellectualized willfulness.



Shaker Lyrics

Simple Gifts, Elder Joseph Brackett 1848



Hansjörg Göritz