She wrote that they met. They found their spots and unpacked their stuff in different spaces. She told me they had lunch next to the pine. She says they worked some more, but too little. Then they walked. They walked to Kirchner’s grave and house. They walked back in the sunshine. They had dinner and they agreed to send me short messages about their day. She said that she would remind everyone. She said that was now. She sent me her best wishes from Hotel Europe.
In the sunshine I waited.
I read back.
The next morning, he sent me a photograph.
This was followed by another photograph.
I read back …
I was impatient. I expected more. I wondered if I had misunderstood. I did not reply.
A full report was transmitted: two days. It was written on the second day. The second entry was shorter than the first. En route he realised how much time he needed. He thought of the situation towards which he was heading as a time for incubation, and wrote of watering seeds, the shade, light, minerals that formed the metaphor of presence and joined intelligence. He found a space to continue to work, one in proportion to a body, testing the measured proportions, and covering everything with a gauze the colour of skin. He felt strongly about it but do not yet know why. He talked with others, knowing that interaction, like trust, was crucial. Trust was currency, current. He thought that walking was good for thinking, that is was good for sharing. He went to the Jewish cemetery and although he was moved, could not take a photograph, holding only fragments in his head that touched other thoughts. At dinner he talked with others. He started to write to me the next morning, but found that writing blocked him. He liked to find words and would prefer to talk. He wondered if he might call me. He had never liked the idea of writing a diary. He did not even like to report to himself what he felt and thought, feeling himself to be both accountable and unaccountable. Fuck, he wrote. He was looking for what was unsharp; he wanted to sense, not know, he did not want to understand. He repeated that writing often blocked him from making intuitive decisions. He liked fragmented facts, notions instead of knowledge. Perhaps he would call me the next day,
He sent me a film. It turned. No, he turned. No, the camera turned. He was wearing a Hilfiger tee-shirt in blue. To his left was a pile of books, and he was reading from a paper placed on the on the table in front of him. He was in front of a window. Outside the wind blew through the trees. Some things, he said, did not work. Difference, rhythm, of rhythm, curatorial knowledge. There was a burning house, yes, the maison brulée filmed by Georges Bataille. Exhibit of fire, I missed this. Brand mark. Brand marking. Post irony. Irony of post irony. Utopian paradigm … imagination. I am trying to type as he speaks, as he spoke. A pinhole. Inside of another outside Line of flight, Unscheduled. Back to… yes, back to the outside… time, something about time, time drills? Studied exhibits. Verso of politics, no, versus of politics. The angelic messenger who has absolutely nothing … nothing to add. Politics of versus.
The angelic messenger who has absolutely nothing … nothing to add.
I waited another day, then another. There was a break in transmission. I could not send. I waited to receive. Silence. Dead air. The wind was still blowing through the green trees.
He wrote to tell me that my request, which he also called my challenge, was ‘in the air’ all the time. I was off air for which he chastised me, for some invested time and energy thinking about what to write or produce for me, or writing and producing for me. This was their precious time. They could have used this time differently. I did not acknowledge their reports I received. There was waiting on both sides: on air, off air.
He beat out a tune: This rhythm is for you. This rhythm is for you. This rhythm is for you. This rhythm is for you.
I did not know who was you. Moi ou toi. For me. For you.
She wrote to tell me that she informed and that they all reflected on the idea of the radio transmission. Everyone was interested and into it, she said. But then later they were confused when there was no answer from me. Then, well, then, the present was more present.
From where could these messages come? The present has past. It always does.
The present has past. It always does.
A circle in the room. No introductions. Nodding of the head, yes, yes, I am listening. A circle in the snow. The reminder of long acquaintance in passing. Reluctance to speak until the moment when it was possible to speak of children, of absence and the longing to return. Trying to balance; but perhaps a matter of depth and surface, of trying to keep the head above water. A blue shirt, but casually worn; the serious, the earnest and confident discussion, surprising dropped. An insouciant alacrity to dance, but this is later. The long explanation of a simple and ugly thing. A moment of account. A neat suit, a sweater, a charming smile, one responding to everything, with constant note taking. The air of paying attention. A late arrival; immediate reaction. Another late arrival. A third arrival. Forgetting where we are; being reminded of where we are. Beautiful stockings, embroidered boots, laying down words and gestures as material things. One story among others. Thinking on the spot. A stone in the hand. A stone on the floor. A stone in my hand, which does not rest there. The ability to appear as one that is performed, until there is little or no difference. A straight back, a careful and particular style, including fabulous boots. Imagining common ground. Refusing common ground. The desire for common ground. Finding common ground; the relief. Waiting to speak. Not speaking. Listening. Pretending to listen but checking email instead. Checking email while listening, yes, yes, I hear you. The identification of an accent or a certain tone of voice, yes, yes, I hear you and in hearing you, I recognise something about you. Black lace-up shoes, and quite a formal jacket; the assuming of a critical position as a matter of position. Making a point forcefully. The problem of making a forceful point, the insistence on participation; forgetting at times to leave space for nothing to happen. Introductions at last. No more than names. Too late for naming: what do you do? A sudden lack of vocabulary. Obscure or irrelevant or inappropriate examples (on my part, anyway). Sending a script as though it mattered, expecting its enacting. Reluctance with good humour. Voices raised obligingly; two refusals, one covert but unengaged, one declared in the seizure of mastery. The formation of small groups, consciously or unconsciously, despite the democratic round table, the sharing of hospitality. The importance of lunch. Premature indulgence. Looking forward to supper. Waiting for a friendly move. Reading aloud. The outside. The inside. An extravagant sweater. The invitation to touch one’s own hand as though it might belong to another. A story that provoked interest and anger. Positions taken up, but as an undercurrent. Standing in the snow looking at the mountains, which are almost impossible to see. The nervous plucking at the skirt of a dress. Pretending we do not know each other, or at least, not under the circumstances we did. Glances exchanged and eyebrows raised: an unexpected complicity. Duration, endurance. The inability to leave the room. The impossibility or remaining. Day-dreaming. Making a sign in the air. Making an internal sign, Thinking of being elsewhere. Returning to the present. Passivity disguised as participation. Aggression disguised as dialogue. Active production. Obliged production. The rejection of collective work. Communication but not transmission. The noise of sharing. Exposure, in a practiced way. Greedy reflexes. Opening holes. Closing gaps. The occasional moment of an exchange always ruptured. Pretending to have a headache. Having a headache. Not being asked a single question. The porosity of spaces. Clearing up as though we had not been there. Meeting in the street. Arriving on time. Putting in the hours. Early departures (why?). Leaving in time. The bitter end, of course; sticking it out to the end. We must. We do. We will. Slipping away quietly.