Written and read for de Appel arts centre in context of Instituting Ecologies.
We’re in a space gridded with industrial storage racks that reach to the ceiling. Around us are semi-opened crates filled with heavy cut stones.
We move between the racks, careful not to brush against anything. There are numbers engraved into burnished woods, white ink smeared into the etchings, now part of surface.
There are drawers labeled with classification systems that seem to fit no particular order.
On the shelves are iridescent shells, fibers, colored seeds, all once cared for.
Our eyes move across the shelving systems, metallic boundaries covered with foam protection.
There’s nothing charming to it.
I’m asked if I’d like to hold something, opening my hand I feel smoothened wood, an extension of arm. I feel mass and heft, how does one learn to disappear into the company of weight, disappear from conservation.
A cicatrice is described for both on skin and bark.
Spaces filled with metallic coldness can always be foregrounded by warmth. How could we disappear into a togetherness of configuring?
Tenderness can be found in weights and surfaces, bronze castings are made to disappear into weight.
Between one of these racks, a small box is opened. A tool fashioned with fossilised bone lays on a bed of cotton wool. Time that extends beyond the evolution of eyes and glands. The moment the materials were brought together was before deluge, before words evolved that we’ve now chosen to reject.
The box is closed, and put back on the shelves, a porosity, a punumbra shadow cast itself over the shelving systemMottled patterns.
Seasons and periods, halts and speeds, revolutions and risings, help denote, contain and hold time.Irregular marks.
flesha lure for another, and yet no one in particular
-Iridescent shells can be used as small plates, the same for cupped hands
Protecting us from an unmaking. Shapes continue to reconfigure actions.It’s not more complex than we think, they say, but rather, more complex than we can think. In breaking the world to pieces, what is found becomes disassociated, strewn meanings.Representations
So, how do hands that grip surfaces also cup water?
Iteration after iteration after iteration after iterationthat shell is and always was there.Iridescence is refractive, colours bounce from the position of eyes.Formlessness decorates itself over horizon spaces
ancestors and thoughts.
Hold onto nothing-
My mother has a collection of unused glasses because she says ‘her future can use them’
Iterations can alsodisappear into weight along with that which is contained.
Like they said, more complex than we can think.
We speak of gridded space as if one goes back to source, a fetish for strewn meaning. Configured by those representations that force a difference between inside and outside, between contained and container.
Identity is often bound with intent, imposed from an outside.
Words come from landscapea change of landscape is a change in words.Landscape was once soft.
We’re told metallic horizons are to be our interiorsdressed with words.Interiors are not etched.
Interiors are cared for, both plush and worn.They are requests in both disappearance and remembrance
Published by de Appel arts centre in context of the exhibition Rien ne va plus? Faites vos jeux!
The floor is an observed thing, your shoes, clothing a thing, your eyes, mouth, torso, a thing. Containments have the most slippery of exteriors.
Think of where people see your face, there is no distance from you and things.No memories, no colours, chins, teeth, eyes or cheeks.
There’s a building where a garden has been designed directly from the facade. As if the whole wall had been tilted and then lowered down,becoming the garden floor.
Every architectural line has grown into topiaries. Those hedges are trimmed daily, each branch controlled. Nothing beyond the allowance of the gardner, nothing beyond the control of desire.Trimmed to a point that all of a sudden they firm up and fall into line, he says.
Each window, each doorway which was once an opening on the facade, is now inversely translated into closed hedges on the ground. This occurs on all four sides of the building, as if the structure sits within an image of itself.
Inside containers are more containers, and in those containers more upon more containers.Chains of containment — so by the time they’ve found you, so many thresholds have been crossed, the last is forgotten from the first. These chains are found in the withs, ands, froms, in the institutions, countries, towns, brands and rhythms.
Logics that separate order from what is perceived as chaos, anti-entropy machines.Containments have the most slippery of exteriors, and the most slippery of interiors, so that insides slip right over outsides, nested within each other. — happily sitting within images of ourselves.As one passes through containments exclusivity becomes apparent — moving through the space, rooms become smaller and smaller, you shrink to fit space, your liver, arms, legs and intentions. Inner chambers, inner closets.
When you say flattened heirachary I want you to really mean it —Containments are power-structures against something else, they are however malleable, viscous and porous.
A pot turns earth inside out, earth becoming endomorphic to ectomorphic.
Becoming the very inverse of itself, chalk and clay. Leaner and thinner to the point where we can see through the material. Where the contained renders itself onto the exterior of the vessel as a screen.
Combining both outside and inside. Astonishing.
Mirrors always seems to find time for the outside.
The floor is an observed thing, your shoes, clothing a thing, your eyes, mouth, torso, a thing. Containments have the most slippery of exteriors.Think of where people see your face, there is no distance from you and things.
No memories,no colours, chins,teeth,eyes or cheeks.
Patrick is listening to his driving companion and nods his head to the intervals following the end of the passenger’s sentences. They are looking forward through a dirty windshield covered in red dust and dead insects. Moving his hands a little to the right, and a little to the left, Patrick keeps the large four-wheel drive on course as it snakes through the hot and dry landscape. With his right hand he fumbles around in his shirt pocket and pulls out two cigarettes. One is offered to the passenger, the other he puts between his own own lips.
He cracks open a window and the heat rushes into the car. With his left hand he takes out candies from the console and pops one in his mouth. He likes the combination of flavors he says, tar and caramel.
There are some things older than conversations.
This morning a friend showed me a piece of petrified wood. I instinctively went to smell it, surprised that it smelt of nothing, I put it back in her hand and she put it back on the table.
Patrick is still listening to the conversation, when his companion has run out of things to say. The interior of the car falls into silence. Patrick begins tapping the steering wheel, to a slow and steady rhythm and he begins to sing. His voice is grainy yet smooth, connected yet uncombined, linked and coupled to a deepening echo that like the cigarette smoke, covers the every surface of the car’s interior.
There are some things older than threads, figure eights, knots, loops and bends There are some things older than ropes, strings, cables and twine
We move over the top of the waterWe skim over the top of the waterWe sail over the top of the waterWe glide over the top of the waterWe skip over the top of the water
It’s fine to look at the hole in the ground, just don’t cast your shadow over it. The hole is large enough to fit your body through. You check your position to the sun to confirm where your shadow is. With the sun in front of you, you peer over the edge. It looks infinite darkening the deeper it goes, into the dust, as far as you can see.
Patrick drives and sings with the passenger remaining silent. Patrick is not murmuring his song, he's singing as you imagine real singing to be, strong and robust, full and present. His song moves over surfaces, dissipating onto the horizon beyond the dirty windshield. There’s no stopping it, the words have come out and we are all within proximity to them.
There are some things older than heat hazes, than tarmac roads, than dust storms. There are some things older than dry air, than finches, wattles and ferns.
Patrick eases on the brakes, hops out and walks to the back of the car, you hear him remove something from the trunk. You see him walking over to the side of the road and up to a tree where he cuts down an L shaped branch and puts it on the rear passenger seat. The car smells of the fresh sap and he begins driving and singing again. Patrick’s song follows the road, it pauses at moments and begins again at certain points during the drive.
At a creek, it begins again, at a tree it begins again, at a gulley it begins again, at a ridge it begins again.
There are some things older than silver braceletsThere are some things older than seams, collars, hems and buttonsThere are something older than pockets, creases and folds
Night falls and stars cover the sky, there’s a car broken down in the middle of a creek in front of us. Their headlights are shining on the surface of the water, moving reflections of light over the trees. We ask if they need help, they say they have it under control. Patrick turns the engine off and we step out of the car and Patrick’s song begins again as we stand in the evening, shadow of the day, both isolated and together in the night of the desert.