The day is coming when a single carrot freshly observed will set off a revolution. Paul Cezanne (1839-1906)
The quote became the motto of Single Carrot Theater in Baltimore, Maryland, started by some college kids who knew each other in school and went shopping for a city to create their own radically beautiful work.
The content of Cezanne’s quote is a beautiful bit of idealism pulled out of the painter’s ever-changing view of nature. Cezanne painted dozens of versions of Mont Sainte-Victoire, suggesting that there were an endless variety of interpretations with which we could approach our world.
Was he only talking about art or about us in general? The many who quote him are applying the principle widely.
He said ‘the day is coming’ because we are not yet at the point when fresh observation will cause a wide, social revolution. I suppose that we can have modest revolutions when we freshly observe our world.
I suppose that in an empire, no revolution can succeed. Spartacus started a slave revolt with thousands of resourceful and committed stakeholders knowing that failure meant death. They won some ground but the Romans eventually analyzed the situation, organized its resources, hired the best commanders of the best legions around, executed the plans, captured and hung the rebels bodies by the thousands on crosses along the Via Appia as a lesson to all those who would dare to have an original idea that did not further the ominous creep of empire. An empire is that which survives revolutions.
Of course, empires eventually crumble away and something must patiently chip away to make them go away. The quote strikes me sympathetically. Fresh observances are exhilarating and revolutions can be wonderful for their survivors. When in Baltimore, check out Single Carrot. http://singlecarrot.com/