berlin drawings 20-22 > animal symbolism

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ink on paper
145cm horizontal by 60cm vertical

These two bears have a love-hate relationship, bearing claws while locked in a moist embrace. Their wants and needs are the same—no different than your average bear. They want a nice cave for napping when the weather’s bad. They’d like to mate and have lots of cubs. They want their bellies full, with salmon and sweet honey. Also, they wish to rid the forest of hunters who set fires and shoot at them. The bears do not like sharing territories. They disagree on many things, such as how to divide up the trees for marking. When the salmon spawn, they fight over where to stand in the river as the fish are jumping upstream. One of the bears tends to hoard salmon, while the other takes only what it needs to feed itself and its family. They never agree on how to divide up the beehives. One of the bears keeps a tidy forest, defecating in only a handful of designated areas. The other bear leaves his excrement everywhere. Their cubs get along okay now that they are very young, but what will it be like in a couple of years, once they have learned the ways of their elders?