"If something is boring after two minutes, try it for four". John Cage
The sea was not as rough as predicted, I watched the water swell up around us, making my stomach leave my abdomen which gave me slight pleasure. I watched the landscape change though my ferry window, focusing past the salt crystals and water droplets. Dusk had begun and the lighthouses began to light the path along the fjord back home to the mainland, blinking and waving until the land disappeared.
He pointed out the forts from the Second world war, abandoned satellite stations and a windmill out at sea. We stood there in the lighthouse looking through lenses and watching the rainbows form. We stood there together, surveying the island from the highest point, and watching the weather change. As he spoke I imagined the shy German general on his white horse patrolling the east side with his watercolors in hand. The lighthouse keepers stories kept taking me further and further back in time, while I listened the landscape played it all out in front of me. We watched the rain come in blanketing the ocean, I felt protected there behind the glass. He told me how he used to watch the children use the beam from the lighthouse to navigate the darkness only moving in light and freezing when it left. In our silences I pictured the island this way during that time, when the light was extinguished and the land disappeared into the ocean at night.
I went back to the valley at dusk. I wanted to check if it was still there and if insides of the abandoned house were no longer exposed. The colours flattened into each other as the light disappeared behind the horizon line, it all was a even grey now. I could see two ships floating out there, they moved past west every evening around this time, silhouettes hovering just above the water line. The Nightjar started to call as I made my way back, I had recently read that the Nightjar is sometimes referred to as “goatsuckers” some ancient folklore. I made my way back home past the wall of trees. The lighthouse was now on and it light up the valley in short bursts.
I spent more time out by the lookout point the rocks there fascinated me. I mapped them with my eyes, going over and over their lines. I tried to hold onto the words of the geologist and tired to grapple with their deep time. I retraced my steps making sure I got everything, the moss, the water, the rocks, the ocean, the horizon line, the grasses, the clouds, the light. On my way home I visited one of the geologists sites and there in the field lay a very old rock. He had spilt into three parts and had been there for quite sometime. Moss, grasses and other elements had attached themselves to his surface, he had quite a presence. I walked round and around him, he had faces in all directions towering over the land, out of place fragmented but still, stuck, and diamond like.
Today I got ready to leave the house early. I wanted to cover some ground so I packed light and only took the essentials, compass, camera, sound recorder and sample bags. I headed west, the temperature and light were just right. Within the first fifteen minutes I was confronted with a bog and wet feet, I followed the animal path down to the shoreline as far as it could take me. It got quite tricky from there, a landscape I did not expect from my lookout point and map this morning. Grey black boulders surrounded me in an apocalyptic view, I was in it and had to follow the sound of the ocean to find my way out. I played tetris as I choose my steps over and down and around. Nothing but the occasional bird crossed my path. Shoreline ponds and ecosystems changed as I got nearer to the ocean, debris of shipwrecks lay hidden in the rock crevasses. I did come across a treasure while collecting some yellow moss it was, yes and to my surprise a message in a bottle from a Erik Pedersen. I put it in my backpack. I kept checking my watch as time had not moved again and nor had I.
Woke up at 7:00am with dreams of a alternative life and time still in mind. I walked up to the lighthouse to catch the sunrise. The wind pulled my hair in all directions, I waited and watched the horizon until the sun burnt my eyes - (Breakfast muesli, half a banana and a boiled egg with green tea) - I mapped out my chart for monitoring, made coffee and plans for the day. I went a across to the lighthouse keepers house and helped myself to some tea in his kitchen. The morning sun comes into his living room which makes it a comfortable place to write, after recording all my encounters to date, I went upstairs to look at all his books, he has good taste. I paged though and looked at the pictures studying the captions in the hope of understanding this foreign tongue. Once I finished I put back leaving the items undisturbed. I went back outside again to check the weather my hair still blowing in all directions. I counted the white horses.
We need to remember how to remember, past and future and now. (IMPRINT)
In the attempt of seeing oneself in the past and future - Gnezdo -1977
Through The Mist – Project.
Yes but this water cannot be trusted. We will need to look out for these here.
I watched this creature appear from the mist today. We will have to find out what it is, it seems to be patrolling our perimeter.
I heard they have many eyes. We will have to find the antidote to their sting, if we are to swim again.
(a rare image of the "burning fish" found in the dark, right at the bottom of the sink hole).
St Peter's Island - Here you can see water on either side of the island
Your doppelgänger perhaps? I think I found mine.
I found an inverted island. Our prints make sense now.
Day 3 – 9th April – 2:00 pm
Blisters on my right toe. Nina sits and draws a mysterious hole on a rock. It’s extremely hot today around 29c. Clear skies but clouds are gathering toward the west.
I haven’t seen very many birds, which makes me slightly anxious. We all seem to be adjusting to the dry climate, wished I had brought some lip ice from home. Been enjoying my chats with Robert about the stars he seems to know a lot about astrology, Nina and I listen to him with eager ears.
29c Clear Skies.
Day 4 – 10th April 3:45pm
Our pace has slowed today everyone one is staying near base camp as our research and projects have become clearer in this unfamiliar setting. Nina and I have spent some time away from the others gathered around our collective specimens discussing them further. Tomorrow we need to try map the flow of water down into the valley. Emily has assured us that there will be some rain tonight. I keep thinking about what Micheal said about the wolves, we have not seen any yet but I hope we do soon. Nina keeps looking at her compass.
24c Partly cloudy.
Did you hear about the Sinkhole in Florida? Spent all Sunday googling sinkholes. They seem to be similar to black holes funneling in what surrounds them. They are fascinating…they seem to make me just as anxious and excited as the Black holes, yes the darkness the void the magnet and the terror!
Yes he does!
I think Robert Smithson would have liked Johannesburg. On my new route to work, I drive past the abandoned quarries and think of him. He has been helping me with my 4am jet lag wake ups.
And Nina I am finding clues...
The Crystal World – JG Ballard’s book Robert Smithson obsession and Cyprien Gallards title
JG – Tacita Dean film – JG Ballards, The voices of Time and Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty
Yes you did. At the moment we both seem to be interested in the above and bellow, which is incredible dont you think?
Watch this Trevor Paglen - The Last Pictures Project Video http://vimeo.com/53655801#, I am so glad you pulled me into Metro Pictures that day, his work is incredible.
Image above (A famous depiction of the 1833 meteor storm, produced in 1889 for the Seventh-day Adventist book Bible Readings for the Home Circle)
I remember you quoting this book and telling me to read it, it has now fallen into my hands at the right time it seems.
“Marco Polo imagined answering (or Kublai Khan imagined his answer) that the more one was lost in unfamiliar quarters of distant cities, the more one understood the other cities he had crossed to arrive there, and he retraced the stages of his journeys, and he came to know the port from which he had set sail, and the familiar places of his youth, and the surroundings of his home, and a little square in Venice where he gamboled as a child “ (Calvino 1972:28) - Invisible cities
Sometimes it all makes sense while walking around, but as soon as I stop to write it all down, it fragments and I have to try to piece it all together again.
I thought of you again just now, while walking around the Tacita Dean show, I could picture you analysing her marks, they were beautiful Nina, so simple. http://www.mariangoodman.com/exhibitions/2013-02-01_tacita-dean/#/images/8/
They said she returned to the blackboard after a ten year gap, our time is coming up soon. Oh and also a nice little anecdote, her new 35 mm film, JG (inspired by JG Ballard)! See here http://gallery.arcadia.edu/jg-tacita-dean-film/
"I know it exists because I can imagine it to be there. I can describe it, go there and leave it, therefore it exists" she says.
My head is full of things I want to tell you and I have lists and lists of artworks to share.
Heading to the library tomorrow, let me know if you want to meet there.
He didn’t paint everyday, only when he could and if he didn’t finish them in the day he would burn them, but on some days he managed to finish two. This is what I remember from yesterdays visit.
I saw these and loved them just as much as I did when I first saw them, they also reminded me of your new drawing.
You may just need to clean your window? I think I have finally found mine. I only see you once in a while but you are very far away. Today was particularly difficult as the rain has begun to fall.
After seeing you, I went home and looked for a hole. I looked into it for awhile trying to find your light.
I then wrote a song about the hole and the light, which maybe one day I will send it to you.
19 March, for 32 hours.
Drove past the Goodman yesterday on my way home, and took this picture for you. It's Rosenclaire's new exhibition which opens tomorrow. What does it remind you of? Maybe you can't see, the picture quality is rubbish but I couldn't wait to show you...
I have been thinking about this a lot lately, how one divides ones roles and identities within the different fields one has to perform in. At the moment I have been finding it hard to distinguish my self as the ‘artist’ Robyn Nesbitt, ‘the 9-5 curator’ Robyn Nesbitt and Robyn Nesbitt the ‘collaborator with you’.
I brought up some of these issues at Portia Malatjie 24 hour residency at the sober&lonely house this weekend.
These were my notes
Some interesting things were said, what I found quite interesting was the role of the artist as a 'double agent'. In a South African context were the artist performs many roles. How does one define what one is, and whether those definitions are needed ARTIST/CURATOR/COLLABORATOR in terms of branding one's own image.
Solution = Do we employ alias's or embrace the 'avant garde'?
(this probably does not make sense to you but wanted to share)
Following on from 'The three person show' – the last time we met up I was quite intrigued in how our work separately has become quite similar in ways, despite our private nature of not sharing our individual practices with each other. Collaboratively I think we are more in tune now even with our vast distance and what I am quite enjoying is how my solo work is becoming increasingly influenced by our collaborative projects. Maybe it’s about balance, and the shift in where you are now and where I am.
Basically what I am saying is YES to a three person show, I think it will work beautifully!
Remember that mission we made across Paris trying to find the art shop that sold chalk? I think I still have the box we bought. We were going to write to each other from opposite sides of a building until we met up in the middle or something like that?
I like his work. http://www.kontakt-collection.net/artists/Tibor+Hajas/
It feels like it has been forever.
I feel strange when I have not had time for our work - disconnected. Been thinking about you, and what you would have thought about my latest work...
I want to hear all about yours, very excited about the still that I am seeing tell me more.
did you finish reading Virginia woolfs 'to the light house' ?
This was how I kinda wanted to map our first idea.
will clean when I document works.
Went to the water show for you on Friday, I am sure this would have been your favorite work.
"Nel’s site-specific installation, Reflective Field (2011), explores the space between knowing and not knowing, the inexplicable realm symbolised in his work by reflections of water against the gallery ceiling in what the artist describes as a “scientific exploration of divination”.
"Valeria, Claudio and Dino are living in a house located on the top of a hill. An old house in a beautiful landscape in Italy. Nowbody knows where they are coming from. They just appeared.They create a formation called family. They observe each other, they quarrel and sometimes they are tender. That's what you can see and what they keep pretending. But something is strange. The film behaves like its protagonists, keeping its nature secret by pretending to be fiction.
Panzano enters in the world of madness without mentioning it."
where did you see the other rosa barba?
Summer night, garden crickets
I know... Lauren tracked it down, will take it to Outlet on Thursday. Cant wait to compare notes.
Also we must talk soon, there are a few upcoming projects we need to work through.
Love the green parrot, can I add that to out list of telepathic occurrences?
11th july 6:25 Nina thought light went dim, Robyn Blinked
11th july 6:20 Robyn and Nina both looked up at the same time to check the time
8:30 Robyn Said Bless you, Nina Sneezed
12th july 10:15 Robyn has sympathetic pain in big toes because of Nina’s cold
13th july 1:40 Robyn got up and left the table, nina said salt
5:55 Robyn says its her handwriting, Nina says the same
13th – 14th night Robyn dreams of Nina on Grandfathers farm, Nina dreams of Robyn at a party in the bedroom
15th July 9:10 Nina and Robyn both wore blue top with white vest
16th 6:20 Nina had right hand in pocket robyn had left hand in pocket, then robyn touched nina and shocked her
6:30 Nina Blogged about cosmos, so did robyn
17th 7:00 am Nina and Robyn dream of running away and hiding
18th 8:45 Robyn turned off phone at 11:15 Nina texed Robyn at 11:15
19th 12:30 Robyn and Nina both went for the salt at the same time
21st 12:05 Nina said save document when Robyn was already saving
24th July 12:05 am Nina pre empted Robyn’s need to draw on nice paper
11th August Nina see's the green parrots in New York Robyn has been talking about
Look what I found in Aunt's book case before going to bed last night... coincidence I think not.
Setting up tonight, will send you some pics to see what you think.
Yeah, I really like that work, did you see it on your adventures in New York? It's so great reading these stories again, been reading them aloud to my mother while I edit. I am however finding it hard to correct (mark up), my stories are mine and so are yours.
I would rather wait for you.
walking up and down the passage, feeling a bit out of place, not sure what to do next.
The First Glimpse
Its good to look back from time to time.
We do. I remember stopping with my Gran and Mom on the way to Durban. The flowers would sit next to me in the car...they never made it to their destination, which always made me feel sad.
starting to feel like home.
It's hard to think of a story when you are not here, but I will try tell you one anyway. When I was small my brother and I would play in the back garden after school. We would spend hours conguring up the narrative and props for the game before we would start to play. And when it was finally time to start playing I would lose interest and go inside. This would infuriate my brother. The one afternoon we decided to play macgyver you know the 80's tv show. He said that I had to be tied to the lemon tree, it was part of the plot and then he (macgyver) would come get me out of my impossible situation. So he got the rope and tied me with the knots my dad had taught, threw the hole round the loop and back threw the hole again and then pull tight, I couldn't move, and there I was tied to the lemon tree with no escape. This is when he would leave, only to return as macgyver to get me out before the baddie would come. He didn't. At first I thought it was all part of the theatrical timing but then after what felt like hours he didn't return. I got it... he was teaching me a lesson, but only after much screaming, pleading and my mothers attention did he come from his bedroom with a smile on his face to free me and we carried on playing, and thats my story.
Dreamt about water last night, streams that I could float down. Our sleep stories have started to take effect.
Strangers in our space last night, we should have prepared ourselves better. We are going to have to find a balance between the two worlds.
It didn't take us long to start mimicking each other words and patterns. Syncing in, I thought it would have taken us longer with all the time that had past.
First night in residency, heard strange noises last night not sure if it was you? Trying not to be nervous in my new surroundings. We are not speaking this morning, its hard, but quite comforting knowing you are near me.
"I paint the paintings of all the times and all the thoughts I lack the language to describe." George ShawMay 17 2011 - 10:01am
George Shaw shortlisted for this year's Turner prize. This news put a big smile on my face after our conversation on Sunday.
Glad to have you back for awhile friend.
A Day in the Life - The Walkers of Birmingham' was commissioned this year by Fierce Festival. The video is a living portrait of the city as described by the people who navigate it. However it is much more than just a living map, it is a portrait of a city as experienced at ground level on a collective and individual basis.
Been playing in the studio diligently for the last few days now. Its been nice to be in my head from 9-5. Took a moment to warm my feet in the sun and recorded some sound from you.
For restless nights.
Brilliant, it has a life of its own now.
The exercise that you have to do for class reminds me of james turrell's work called Bindu Shards (2010) at the Gagosian. We couldn't go in cause you had to book in advance to experience the work, But we enjoyed watching the visitors come out of the capsule peaceful but slightly disorientated. I can only image it might be similar to your flotation experience just with light and sound. We did however get to experience this work above Spread (2003), we have to remove our shoes and walk slowly into the light, it made me very happy.
"Through light, space can be formed without physical material like concrete or steel. We can actually stop the penetration of vision with where light is and where it isn't. Like the atmosphere, we can't see through it to the stars that are there during the day. But as soon as that light is dimmed around the self, then this penetration of vision goes out. So I'm very interested in this feeling, using the eyes to penetrate the space".
Thank you for this.
I love her comparison of seeing death, as if looking through a viewmaster when its not working properly.
.. - ... / .--- ..- ... - / .- -... --- ..- - / --- -... ... . .-. ...- .. -. --. / .-- .... .- - / .-- . / ... . . --..-- / .. -. / - .... . / .... --- .--. . / --- ..-. / -- .- -.- .. -. --. / ... --- -- . --- -. . / ..-. . . .-.. / ... --- -- . - .... .. -. --.
You know when you just about to go to sleep, you tend to get these brilliant idea’s. Well I had one last night, and it was brilliant enough to remember this morning. It has to do with a fictional audio book for Norway. Which we can start, while we are far apart.
In response to : sometimes you're with me in my studio
saw this at the tate in liverpool made me think of 'walk apart from you 2008'
Makes me want to move my hands back and forth like this … to imitate the movement of the waves. At the moment I am trying get hold of a recording of the sea point foghorn, if I do I will send it to you. Cant wait to see it
Saw this amazing show in Manchester (my second favorite city after Glasgow) at the Whitworth "The Land Between Us".
"Taking a radical approach to landscape art, The Land Between Us presents historic and modern as works together and on equal terms. The exhibition focuses on the imagery of landscape, the places it depicts, the cultural and political power invested in the land and how meaning is found between art and the viewer."
"The Land Between Us imagines a place where art, artist and viewer confront each other beyond the limits of their individual frontiers".
o Black Audio Film Collective
o Vija Celmins
o Chen Qiulin
o Nikhil Chopra
o John Robert Cozens
o Willie Doherty
o Albrecht Dürer
o Olafur Eliasson
o Cyprien Gaillard
o Romuald Hazoumè
o Thomas Hearne
o William Holman Hunt
o Li Yuan-chia
o Erkan Ozgen
o Samuel Palmer
o Larissa Sansour
o JMW Turner
o Vincent Van Gogh
o Francis Wheatley
o James McNeill Whistler
o Rachel Whiteread
o Thomas Whittle
o Donovan Wylie
There are some works I want to talk to you about this weekend.
So back at the airport, spent a overnight in London Gatwick. It’s seven o’clock in the morning. The bodies have removed themselves from obscure position around the seating area. I feel slightly bonded to the people that surround me. I know the shops back to front, finished my book and I am counting my pennies for some morning tea. I am coming back broke, but I guess that is how it goes. I saw a lot of work which sparked some ideas for you and me, it just needs some time to soak in, will tell you all about it when I get a moment to myself. One more night of airport hopping, back to Dubia tonight and then I will be home tomorrow morning. Joburg home. I’m exhausted a little teary and apprehensive of what is yet to come.
We counted the fish, but only the orange ones you said. I didn’t ask why. I just assumed they must have had magical powers like the one in the Ponyo movie but wasn’t sure if you had watched it, so I said nothing. We walked up and down, it seemed important what we were doing. The tourist didn’t seem to mind. We scratched notes on our clipboards, you looked particularly happy when you got to no 55. I couldn’t tell if I was counting the same ones but I was happy too. It was nice to watch the colours go by.
Sitting in Dubia Airport. It’s 2pm in the morning bustling with people cashing in on the duty free. I paused for a while at the after 8, and remembered why. A lady left her baby with me at the toilet, we didn’t even speak the same language so the baby and stood staring at each other while her mom weed. It’s a strange place airports at night, when one should be sleeping. I’ve got the blood shot eyes after a movie marathon, pacing up and down to stay awake and kill time, watching over the bodies scattered all around me. My body is tired feel like I have been in transit for a week living out of bags. I arrive in Scotland tomorrow, oh I mean to day.
My parents dog died today (the big black one), she had to be put down. They put her on a bed and let my mom hold her head while she got anesthetised. It’s strange. To think that she no longer exists. Just like that.
Its strange the relationship we have to our objects. I’m having the feeling that I need to take pictures of how everything looks, before I disassemble it. Just so I wont forget that it made sense for them to be this way, in this order, before they get rearranged in their new space. Like the Mary that sits above my bed, next to Maricel’s organ, my radio and my tea mug. It’s imperative that, that never changes. But it not like I am going to forget but just in case it must exist in a photograph so I can refer to it right now like that
"I felt as if part of my life was absorbed by this apartment".
The foghorn sounds
It’s a strange thing moving from place to place, I’m not to sure where to call home. I have had 5 homes in the last 3 and a half years. It bugged me all day today while packing up, but I think I have come to accept my state of limbo for the next year or so. I came to this while finishing the book to gave me, I scanned in the page bellow. He recalls every object in his room. “I would remember every piece of furniture; and on every piece of furniture, every object; and of every object, all the details; and of the details themselves – a flake a crack, or a chipped edge- color and the texture”. I think of this while I sit here on my bedroom floor wrapping my objects in newspaper.
That experience for me, exists in a dream space. When I came across the image, I had to question myself, did that exist outside of my head?
36 President way kelvin
It will be scary in the beginning, but stick to your gut and you will be fine, plus remember i am here on the other side.
We need to get Maia to send us some maps of Bergen. We need to imagine where we are going, what we doing there, what we can see and what it smells like… we need to start exploring before we get there. You know what I mean?
please take a picture, we need to know if its the same one.
I know where you live now, I got a map.
I waited for you as I read my book on the island. Listening to the radio signals just in case you sent me message. I ate an apple, and threw the core into the ocean and watched it as it floated away. I got up from time to time to scan the horizon, hoping to see something worth documenting in my records. The occasional wild beast visited me, checking to see where I was from just in case I encroached on its territory, but scared them off with my loud screams. Played a game of solitaire to kill the time, kept checking my watch. Dusted off the safety boat, which had seemed to deflate in the sun. Watched the sea gulls fly by, back and forth, tired to catch them in my camera. Got the yellow submarine song stuck in my head, so had sip of water, and waved furiously at the sea. Wrote down some notes, high tied was coming in quickly. Tied my hair back, wind kept blowing my fringe back into my eyes. Made a sculpture from sticks and feathers lying around and thought it looked nice. Walked into the sea and got my feet wet, walked back and sat in my chair. Changed the radio station and ate another apple while I waited for you.
2 in 1.
To see closer.
I love her work. Her process makes so much sense to me right now with my own.
It took me all day to find this photo. Its blurry but I remember.
Remember when we snuck up stairs to the old grandfathers room in my French families villa, can remember what we saw…do you remember how it smelt...do you remember the light and the dust...
To sit on.
Wait a minute how are you reflected in the image... or is that in the film?
It's a beautiful work, one of those which I will add to my list of works I wished I had made.
We will need these to light the candles, not so good at the survivor thing.
and to play domino's
so we have light to read at night.
To listen to the air waves.
For recording our surroundings.
In case we get thirsty.
we can take pictures with the disposable camera
If you send me a map of where you are will it get to me in time?
Haunted: Contemporary Photography/Video/Performance
March 26–September 6, 2010
Please tell me more about this show and which works I would have loved.
Sending radio messages...listen
In general, flares are used for attracting attention and to indicate a precise position, particularly when at sea. Aerial flares are more useful for alerting rescuers or authorities to a problem, while hand-held, signal flares or smoke signals are used to broadcast a location.
Wish you could come and see.
Watching the cable cars meet in the middle.
He affirmed our idea's, personalities, and rules of chance and play, together as we sat in admiration.
So I started our island inventory, let me know what else you think we must take with us.
I got up early this morning to catch the postman. Was standing by the door looking at the rain hitting the glass. I waited till about half past eight he didn’t come, its probably the rain I say to myself. I walked back to my flat scuffing the ground in my oversized sheepskin slippers.
So I see our telepathic abilities are not far off once again. We seem to be existing on our island together unconsciously anyway. We already have our next work, between your dream and my proposal we have an exciting adventure to go on.
I was going to psychoanalysis your dream bit by bit, but I realised I like the world it exists in and that I am apart of it makes me feel like ‘Wendy’ escaping to your ‘Neverland’. So for the moment I’d like to stay on the island of Neverland if that’s okay with you?
Looking forward to tomorrow.
I can see you somewhere over there from my new home.
Will send directions soon.
I confess I forgot my recorder too. But I did think of you as the lighting flashed and the rain started to fall. In brief moment of relief, after week long heat wave it passed us by in silent thunder, to most unnoticed.
Just came out of the lunchtime lecture with art duo rosenclaire. They were talking about their collective work over the years and their current show re.collections at the Goodman gallery. I couldn’t help but picture the two of us standing up there as middle-aged artists, bantering off about our work and competing for floor space. I just had to share that visual with you.
We went for our early morning walk down in Company Gardens this morning. The fairly lights where still on, it made me think of the girls wedding photo’s I saw on facebook, I don’t even know her and I went through her entire album I thought to myself. The mass of singing school children crossed our paths, made me lose my train of thought; you started to waver behind me, looking at everything carefully as you do. I gained some distance but could hear you trip and scuff the ground behind me, knowing you were still there. “Nina” I called look an albino squirrel! I said pleased with myself, I had never seen a albino squirrel before. You where too far behind and missed it. I tried to describe what I had seen as if it was some sort mystical creature conceived out of human fears. “As he is fierce yet good, selfless yet solitary, but always mysteriously beautiful” I quoted myself. You smiled at me and we continued to walk in silence.
Reading to you from the Pillow book of Sei Shonagon.
No 29 Elegant Things.
I brought a pear into the studio for you. I left on the window still. It sat there for a few days fruit flies started to gather, then I realised you haven’t been in all week.
We sat there still until 5:07 Sunday afternoon. We synchronised our black swatch watches, although we seemed to remain out of time. As I wound mine forwards her spun backwards, seven hours apart, it made no sense, she was right here next to me.
17:07 pm - Sunday
I giggled when the song came on. Sunday golden oldies play in the background, while I typed.
We walked through the night harbour, there was a chill in the air that caught the back our necks making us walk faster. The Sea gulls where restless, as they circled night above us surveying our movements. The boats where rearing to go as the tugged against there ropes and moaned.
We moved towards the darkness and sat huddled at the edge of the pier, nothing was said we just stared at the red warning light at the end of the horizon. Boats came in and out, we slowly rocked in unison mimicking the boys while listening to the lulling sound of the foghorn.
Two dark men approach, our heartbeat accelerates out of time, they say hi and move towards the shadows of the dock into a lover’s retreat. We glance towards the pier clock…time seems to have stopped. The oily black water catches our attention as it moves beneath us… seals we both say in a sigh of relief. We sit there in silence watching the night, until time starts to move again.
Now that I think of it she had made quite a few video's referencing water it seem to be a recurring theme or metaphor in her work. I enjoyed the work she showed at The Venice Biennale, I found similarities I could identify within my own work. I particularly want the book, that was for some reason was not available at the Biennale for the texts by Thomas Elsaesser it will be useful for my paper plus there are other really nice ones.
That meeting must have been daunting, I like the image of you speed dating through all the art intellectuals, its going to be a great experience Nina when do you start? Don't worry about being able to express what you do coherently, I have yet been able to come across an artist who can, and if they can, their work is normally not that great. So as long as you can predict the future and I am telepathic we will be fine, wait isn’t that the same thing anyway?
Went sailing yesterday and thought about your new obsession with the ocean. I think I understand now how affects you. The lulling sound of nothingness being far away from land helpless in your ability to move or escape, your forced to recon with your thoughts emptying them away in the vast ocean. I have been watching this documentary called Into Great Silence by Phillip Groning, it’s about the Carthusian monks who take a vowel of silence. It’s a slightly frustrating watch of 164 min of silence, which makes it unbearably beautiful. The film is completely ‘silent’ except for the occasional atmospheric sounds. I have been dealing with the notion of ‘silence’ in my work of late. The idea that silence gives space to what matters, this idea seem to be shaping my paper at the moment. My point being before I drifted into my own thought process is that the ‘silence’ of the ocean allowed me that feeling. It made me think we might have take a trip to cape point during your visit and watch the two ocean’s meet it could possibly be quite poetic for both of us.
"I collect second hand tourist guides. Within the century of printed photographs that they contain, I search for plates that have been printed at similar scale, taken from a similar view point. When I find a near match between book plates, I cut and fold the pages into a new single surface." - Abigail Reynolds
Thought you might like they way she uses her medium.
Fiona Tan - Disorient
Dutch Pavilion, La Biennale di Venezia. Ed. Marente Bloemheuvel
With texts by Saskia Bos, Thomas Elsaesser, Doris von Drathen, Dominic van den Boogerd and Bruce Grenville
Design by Gabriele Franziska Götz
Soft cover, 134 pages. Illustrated in color.
Published by Kehrer, Heidelberg, 2009.
It’s really strange to see the date 2010. Remember the program Beyond 2000 it seemed so far away in the future. I remember calculating my how old would be in 2010… 26, I would think to myself with slight disgust.
I love your idiosyncratic studio setup. Reminds me of a confessional, but of course it would I’m catholic. The practicality of the kneeling cushion, so you. And the Magic arm, enough said. Just as it is, it could be a beautiful work.
So I have had a strange week in my head, I started to think I could be telepathic, but I think its just phase. Nick started to refer to me as Jean Grey as tried to convince him of my telepathic abilities. I even wrote a list of my so-called coincidences to make sense of it all as I hoped it was true.
Here´s what Marina Abramović had to say.
About her childhood... My theory was always that if you have a really tragic childhood, the better the artist you become – if you´re really happy it's different, nothing comes out of happiness. My mother and father were political careerists. They are both national heroes from the second world war – and having a child was not on their agenda, so they just gave me to my grandmother. One day, I was waiting for my grandmother. She was praying in the church, and I saw this thing in the font where you have to dip your finger to cross yourself. I was thinking that if I drank all this water then I would get holy. I was six years old and I stood up on a chair and drank the water. I just got sick. I didn´t get holy. Apart from that, my entire childhood was about going around the kitchen. The kitchen was the centre of my world. The kitchen was the place where I would tell my grandmother my dreams. The kitchen was the place where she would tell me stories, and the kitchen was the place where all the secrets were told. It was a kind of place where the spiritual world and the daily world met and mixed.
Do you know what you want? Really? I am having one those days when things seem unreachable. When I have forgotten why? What I am doing again?, for what purpose and reason. It doesn’t make sense right now, maybe cause it’s a dark cloudy day outside and I am feeling slightly melodramatic. It’s also probably the books that I am reading and the song’s I’m listening to. Feels like I should call it day, and its only 10:30 am.
Sitting in the back of his old Mercedes, I felt about five again. Children were seen but not heard, we were told. Nicholas sat beside me, holding a pink egg shaped birthday cake. We didn’t speak we just stared at the tar glinting in the night headlights. We were driving somewhere, somewhere fast must have been late for something. She was upset and looked uncomfortable I wasn’t sure why and couldn’t ask, I was afraid to speak. I haven’t dream't about him in a long time, he never speaks in my dreams, but his presence is frightfully heavy.
Idea's for your one week return, not all amazing, but a concept we can apply to our time spent together.Nov 19 2009 - 12:23pm
It was 5 o’clock in the morning, I could hear her coming closer. She was singing on the top of her voice, meandering down the street. First it sounded like a Brenda Fassie song, but that could have just been her accent. She got closer and closer, louder and louder. I started to giggle in my bed, as the man below shouted from outside his window in utter frustration. He said, “shut up”. She promptly replied, “No! I don’t want to shut up, its morning time and its time to get up”. She continued to sing down the road her voice slowly faded into the distance, and I went back to sleep.
Hiroshi Sugimoto - North Pacific Ocean, Ohkurosaki, 2002
I thought you might like her. I am inside your head as much as you are in mine. I understand you feeling distant from me, but the funny thing is I consult with you on a daily basis, if you know what I mean. Send me your new stories please I want to know what’s inside your head, and I will tell you what’s in mine maybe then we will join together again. A story a week please.
I need some advice, maybe you have seen something that you can lend my eyes. I have a lot of collected paper works in the form of scripts, list and ideas. I don’t really know how to display them. I have thought of them as little books but they also seem to be more alive collaged on the wall. See the thing is they need to work in the realm of my projections and I am not sure or convinced if this is at all possible although I’d like to think so. Any ideas?
I thought about you lots this weekend across the sea faraway over there.
Marjectica Potre – Maps and dreams (you will love her)
Susan Hefuna – Drawing poems (look at her drawings of ny)
Ulla von Brandenburg – Staging (my favourite)
Ceal Floyer – Slide projector tree (cause we love slide projectors)
Chu Yun – Appliances (made me think of your I live here work)
Grazia Toderi – Stadium (epic apocalyptic cityscapes)
Nathalie Djurberg – Clay (she makes these crazy clay animations)
Simon Starling - Film strip (Reminds me of your technical side)
Hans Peter Feldman – Shadow (Reminds us to keep it simple)
Yoko Ono – Paper works (experience the everyday)
Toba Khedoori – Paper drawings (drawings of paper)
Rosa Barba – Old film projectors (installation)
Steve Mc Queen – Giardini (my other favourite)
Silvia Bachli – Painting (simple clean honest)
Shaun Gladwell – Australian landscape mad max (boy video art)
Fiona Tan – Video simple (double screen)
Peter Greenway – The marriage (not my favourite greenway but glad I saw it anyway)
Fortuny – In Finitum show (my new dead boyfriends house)
Rebbeca Horn – Fata Morgan (blue parrot wings mechanical, you would approve)
Giovanni Bellini – The angel of the annunciation and the virgin (Accademia !)
Went to go see your show today, but they changed the opening date for this Monday. So I will be there representing at the opening to take pictures for you, I am very excited to see your new work. Was going to keep it a surprise and just send you the pictures but am bad at keeping secrets.
Lets write stories together. Start it as a text based work, and will see where it goes. Once a week a paragraph, it can be fiction and non-fiction don’t think it really needs to make much sense to any one else. It will be a conversation of our minds, apart as we walk side by side, together in our binocular vision.
One year ago, I thought I would take a walk done memory lane and see where we were.
8th August 2008
People making out passionately by the river side, a old women stands next to them and fishes. I enjoyed getting lost today…I liked having some time by myself, especially the conversation in my head. I felt safe there, I wanted to stay there all day. Its familiar it’s my childhood, in a foreign place with golden light shinning through the windows. The smell is the same. I don’t mind if I make this up either it’s a reality, I’d like to think I am familiar with it.
I thought you might like this...http://www.whitecube.com/exhibitions/jack-freak-mas/video/39/ watch the interview.
Wow… just came out of the one of the first seminars of this semester, it was tense. Palms got all sweaty just thinking about mine, public speaking terrifies me. I guess it is something you just have to practice; it just doesn’t seem to get easier. Showed my new work to someone today, I never really know how to take someone response I sit with it for hours picking it apart from all angles, I suppose that’s normal after all I have invested so much emotion in a single frame.
Sorry I missed you the other day got caught up in my paper, I am better if you know what I mean, I wanted to say thank-you, I took your advice.
Here is a still from one of my new video’s
I want to talk to you about Spier this year, remind me. okay.
me: Hey friend, I havent forgotten you, just been hiding out.
nina: I felt that. me too
are you still in jhb?
me: good, yes. and I am sick its freezing here.
Saw your sister on saturday. she is looking beautiful.
how are you?
Sent at 3:58 PM on Wednesday
nina: a little exhausted - I'm doing some freelance editing. I get so pleased and a little jealous of my beautiful sister...
me: Oh I love that artist you sent me. She reminds me also of the one we saw at the paris exhibtion. Who collected her grandmothers lists or something flip I wish I could rember the name of that show.
yeah the youth
nina: yes, I was thinking about that. You should look at her other work too, she deals with her family alot
me: Yeah I did. is it art editing?
oh someone else has done something with the gchat conversations I will send you the link.
Sent at 4:03 PM on Wednesday
nina: no, its editing for this documetry makers kids school musical. So I have to try make something out of lots of shaky, handheld footage, and have the songs stuck in my head all the time
Sent at 4:04 PM on Wednesday
me: how you otherwise yours sister says your inbetween. Decistion making? Mitch looking for work, your job etc?
Sent at 4:06 PM on Wednesday
Dineo Bopape, south african artist studing in ny.
nina: mitch is looking yes, which is tough.
I met Dineo, she goes to columbia and is a friend of lawrences
she's seriously intimidating
Sent at 4:10 PM on Wednesday
me: ah I thought you would have. Yeah she looks it. Must be confusing my friend, it will come right, just do what you must do to be happy. k
I miss you when I am here in jhb.
nina: I'm trying to be happy, sometimes I am.
me: When is you mom, leaving for ny?
I have the t shirts.
They are not as cool as I hoped. a bit shiny. But i think I will just wash em lots before I send them to you.
nina: I dont think they're coming for a while, my family. But I'll let you know as soon as someone decides to make the trek over
me: k. I will drop them off at your house before I go.
Sent at 4:16 PM on Wednesday
me: I am booking all my equipment and lighting for my shot next weekend. Scary!!!
So when you come back sometime I hope I will know of all the places and connection we can use. x
Sent at 4:19 PM on Wednesday
nina: wow, good luck! will you write to me about how it goes? I'd really like to talk sometime soon. Are you around friday?
me: Yeah friday is good my evening?
Sent at 4:23 PM on Wednesday
nina: your afternoon of you can, so my morning - like 4pm or so?
Sent at 4:27 PM on Wednesday
me: should be cool, if not will let you know. speak then my friend.
nina: cant wait x
Sent at 4:28 PM on Wednesday
I am glad to see you are back my friend and with a beautiful animation too. You might be right with regarding the name, but I will still be on the look out for a ultimate french phrase.
Your disc man has just been collected. Here is a picture of my work from the masters show.
Went to Cape 09 on Saturday. The show was called 'Do you know where Brenda Fassie is?' at Brenda Fassie's old school in Langa. This picture was from the Swiss artist's work I cant remember the title, but the kids loved it. They got perform on a little stage hidden in a class room where their performance was screened live on the outside on one of those old black and white tv radios that we like very much.
Sitting in the gallery, its cold we have to monitor the space so know steals my projector. I am up first seeing though I am the only one displaying a digital work its only fair. I thought this would be a good opportunity to tell you about it. We haven’t spoken for while, been caught up in our own business. So the Masters show ‘in principle’ opening was last night. Oh I showed the sketch version of Act I - Introduction (sketch) that was the title. I displayed the small rough projected version of the image on a loop no sound. Next to the projector, on the same low plinth was a typewriter with the shooting script I typed out. It was inspired by the show we saw in Paris together, the one I wanted to know if remembered what the name was. I will send some pictures tomorrow.
I saw him, I saw him first. He was there standing on the side almost unaware of his surroundings he was on mission he had purpose and could not be distracted. He bent down no he crouched down in the most inconspicuous way and started writing his code on the concrete slab. That was all I saw the light turned green and I had to pass him by. But I saw him… I saw him first.
Connected knowing dialogue based on personal experience.
Just came back from lecture by a visiting researcher Carole Gray on issues of research in Fine Art.
“She will give a presentation on her current research (a collaboration with colleague Gordon Burnett) - 'Making Sense' In this research the question - 'what can be known by making that could not be known by any other means?' is posed. For further information see
It made me think a lot about the work that we are making at the moment. The process that we use governed by our distance and relationship, and how by working collaboratively we use it as a way and means to aid ourselves and question our own work. I hope that makes sense but it seems that our new work is almost a experience of our own personal concerns and insecurities supported by one another in order to act as protective almost nurturing realm for us to make work. Through the whole lecture I was thinking about the conversation we recorded about what we thought our work and relationship was about, and I think that is a key work that might be the starting point or anchor for the work that has come after that conversation. I think the relationship that we have with its distance and delayed time allows us both the space to process what has happened and what is yet to come…And this is a really good thing, there is no need to rush this process and get the work out because the process seems to be a this bigger than the work. For me that is and I think it is the same for you?
I had a dream about you that made me worry, we need to do a skype chat soon how is Friday?
I think I need to come and visit you and give you a little pep talk. That's nonsense about your work, screw them maybe its telling you something, maybe you need to come back here and focus your work. Don't let it get you down k. wow Australia how crazy we are going to have to do a skype talk, so you can explain all that to me. I got you sms last night I was moving this weekend into my new place which is amazing, I cant wait for you to see it. Postal address is No 25 York House, Upper Orange St, Orangezicht, 8001. Oh what are your thoughts on Art Africa exhibition I must get back to them soon? Oh and my computer died again...
I am glad you are back.
Where are you? Are you okay?
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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
An idea I was playing around with in Joburg. Here is one of the images that worked really well. Let me know what you think.
check your mail, my friend and get back to me.
Its Sunday again, getting ready to leave for Cape Town. I always seem to run out of time here. I found this old projector screen at my grans house its very cool very old school. I am filming the family this afternoon my 'moving family portrait' that I told you about, should be fun. I have had no news back from the art africa centre, not sure what we should make from that but anyway will let you know if I hear anything? How are you? have you finalized any plans for april yet?
Arrived back in Joburg, its good to be home even with the domestic dramas that come with being back. Its my moms birthday today so going for some breakfast. Speak soon
I got all anxious yesterday, went to the Michaelis graduate exhibition, and realised that all these people will be looking at my work next year and that put me into a panic. Thought you would be able to calm me. Feeling a little stuck with my work at the moment spend hours sitting in my studio wondering if I doing the right thing, I am needing confirmation from someone trust I guess, and that’s you.
I made you a calendar
Murray surprised me this weekend, so I have a valid excuse for missing our meetings. I sit here reminiscing… staring at my precious objects from our Paris trip. It already feels so long ago. I received your post card it was such treat reading about your last breakfast that too now will be placed on my mantel with the rest of my mementos. So what’s next my friend where will our joined endeavor take us next?
Look what I found. Up for a challenge.
I am sorry I forgot… Sitting at my desk writing lists for Monday. Sundays are lonely here. I was thinking about you… you have few days left now. Its been hard coming back. Trying hard not to get stuck in old routines. I am glad we have this now. It makes me feel connected to you again.