this is the hardest postcard. It’s much easier to send greetings from a place than from a specific time. Or a concept of time. But I wanted to do so as it is your favorite and I fancy experiencing it very consciously at the moment. Still, sometimes I’m not sure if I’m in the meantime or if it’s I am just performing another activity. Am I in real time? Absorbed by the (hamster) wheel time? It’s 12.15 am and I am very tired today. I am still sitting in the kitchen of K3, where I spent some time with Antonia. She cooks for the whole group, 25 people. Does lunch happen in the meantime? Is meantime necessarily empty? It was a rainy day but now it’s getting brighter. My head is turning, I am tired. [Jump] It’s 9.52 pm, I am home and I just finished the rope skipping ”what you cannot see in the video“ text. Don’t know what to do next. It was a very hot day, 33 degrees. I am thinking that I am finally able to write to you. I got lost. I changed the beginning of the postcard many times. Found the photo: Is it about having a nap? Relaxing? Thinking? Imagining? Interrupting? Celebrating? Dancing? Isn’t movement always in between, there and gone? Maybe these questions are too banal. Meantime should not be about being inbetween because this would be spatializing it. I try to find an entrance, in time’s own quality and share it. I love the paradox you’re offering in Under the cover of darkness: ”It is not really considered time at our disposal, and yet it is the only time we have.“ And I would love to go for a walk with you and think together about all that. Pass by after your summer in Sicily, and enjoy.
What you cannot see is..
the other training that entered this video. You can see the rope skipping that was initiated and organized by Siggi. You cannot see Nuno’s speech and voice training that inspired me to do a live commentary. Last week we practiced the methodology of Encyclopédie de la parole, a collective and interdisciplinary project. Their principle is simple, the work is really hard and tricky. You try to reproduce pre-recorded voices including all possible aspects and qualities: content, melody, rhythm, timbre – all nuances and details. You do it in a group, as a choir. And often you do it with languages that you don’t even understand. We experimented with a Dutch teleshopping program on Abdoer Twins (nu kung U de pongees van uw lichaam smelten en er fantastisch uitzien – come on give it a try!), and with Michel Buffer’s presentation of the boxing match ”George Foreman vs. Shannon Briggs“ in 1997: Let’s get ready to rumble…..!!!!!!!!
I love sport commentaries… which is probably as difficult as all you can see in the video. What you cannot see is me sitting at home listening to and re-enacting my own recording (because the quality of the original one that i did live at the double dutch training was too bad). And while moving away from the original (recording) i got closer to the original (encyclopedic practice). ”Sometimes you have to betray the original to come close to it“, Janez Janša says and his name is a copy.
There is something else that you cannot see in the video: the competition. For the simple reason that there is no such a thing. We practiced rope skipping as a group activity. The individual’s success is celebrated as a group’s success. But you can see this, I guess.
Voice over: Heike Bröckerhoff, Video: Helena Ratka
I dive into fatigue. As the project enfolds, i loose track. Need to activate myself consciously. I felt dizzy in the morning, some kind of vertigo. I couldn’t join the training physically. But I comfort myself with the thought that observation is an activity. Wanting to take part. To have a part, to belong, to share their joy and excitement. I am hanging out with Antonia, accompanying her while she is cooking. My brain feels squeezed. I cannot think. And it rains all day.. is it just me? Lost on a lonely planet. Working in Dance Studios makes me sad. Working in Public space makes me sad. Does it really change us, our habits, our work? I am not sure. Can hardly keep my eyes open. Does it change something out there? We remain within the Bubble. Bub bub. This art hurts. Two women singing sweet melodies while they are fighting. This art helps. Two women fighting with the spaghetti syndrome, dis-entangling the mic cable mess in the middle of an improvisation. Crystals of collaboration. Bubbledibub. We need protection. A membrane around us. Translucid. I picture us standing in a line under fake palm trees, looking into the camera. Light spirited. Under a sunny sky. I feel vacuum-dried. What does silence look like? I picture us, with headphones, dancing on a rooftop, each body to another song. Am I happy? At least for a moment? No matter how hard we try.., there’s always a rest of bubbleness: The rooftop. The fiction. The ‚We‘ know and ‚you‘ don’t. The desire of creating something that is open to different understandings, open to non-understanding. The desire of saying something without knowing exactly what it is. The desire of differing from the status quo, from reality, from how it is supposed to be, from the rules, the necessary, the adequate, the logical, the must, the useful, the past. And without this distinction, art would probably be everyday life, or tourism, or activism, or science. So we draw a line. Maybe in the wrong place, sometimes. I try to avoid saying that I am an artist. I would like you to be inside. Or displace what is inside and outside. Make it a zone of encounter, instead of a frontier. But in order to make it a shared territory, a collective dream, we would need to draw the lines together.