'Radical! Radical!' is about the power of the word. Rory Pilgrim (1988, Bristol) responds to Van Gogh's letter from late October 1887.
Rory Pilgrim intends for these two spinning glass discs to express Van Gogh’s idea from letter 574 that the power of the word is ‘the light of the world’. The breakable glass refers to the fragility of this concept.
The phrase ‘SMASH THAT GLASS CEILING!’, on one of the discs, is often used in human rights movements. Here it serves as a reminder that society is constantly changing.
The other disc, which shows two hands sheltering a germinating seed, is connected through the word ‘radical’. This word is associated with protest, but it comes from the Latin word for ‘root’ and originally referred to something ‘necessary to the processes of life’.
Pilgrim is referring to another metaphor that Van Gogh uses in the same letter: life as germination.