Text for ‘Imploding’, 2009

1. MILLIONS OF OBJECTS HAVE TOUCHED YOUR BODY

If daily life leads you to open a door fifteen times a day, that’s five thousand, four hundred and seventy five times that you’ve touched a door handle in the last year alone. How many times a knife and fork for the well fed?

A fork

A knife

A door

A childhood experience of privilege

A responsibility

A handle

A decision

An awkward moment

An intelligence made of flesh

A lie

A childhood experience of poverty

A communication without words

An eye

A list of objects and events

How did you decide to catch my eye?

My head is connected awkwardly to the concrete floor as you assess the objects floating in the room. You think about your own position.

But you’re careful not to declare it.

How long did it take for the light reflected from the objects, from my face, to enter your eye? There was a time delay before a split-second signal fired, then the muscles that are joined to the right side of your eyeballs contracted, and caused them to swivel in their sticky sockets until they lined up with mine.

“The first thing to say is that mental events, despite their elusiveness and mysteriousness, are real. We do all believe this, for good reason, and what does it amount to? Well presumably that they are as much in time and space as anything else.”  Ted Honderich How free are you? p.2

2. HOW DID YOU DECIDE TO CATCH MY EYE?

What pattern of experience, what chain of events, what internal history, made it possible for you to do that but not your companion? Who by the way, looked a little timid and awkward (I’m not sorry for that). The liquid in your brain is magnetic. As we look each other in the eye for the first time, do we risk a tidal wave – or nothing at all?

A limb

A voice

A different code used to translate things

An object with no use

An action taken for no reason

An irreparable divide

A celebration of distance

A thing such that statements about it are neither true nor false

A cooling of matter

A thought experienced as an event

A longing for order so desperate that it eats the flesh from the inside out

Until there’s nothing left with which to comprehend.

You are in all possible places in the room all of the time. Until she looks at you, at which point, and only then, do you choose in precisely which one to appear.

But your choosing counts for nothing.

“You treacherous bitch!” you cry – “you chose to look too soon I wasn’t ready!”

But her choosing counts for nothing.

Under the lights of this test environment we are divesting each other of our histories. She soothes my careworn tongue with her nourished one; scrapes back the dust from the surface of my jaded eyes.

3. EVERY THOUGHT IS AN EVENT

I came back to the world after it had changed, now dreaming

I know it’s you who puts a stop to thought, who touches matter, at last, to absolute zero

Holding me in the darkness you whisper

“Your ignorance is bliss, honey…”

Counterfeits of hell sidle in next to my mind – they’re flimsy and they’re letting me down.

“…but you’ll see it all at once when I come for you”.

A concrete floor

A fake smile

A proxy

A look of contempt

A slice of hell

A deathly embrace

A counterfeit self

A choice untaken

An identical event

A cross-section

You’ll never slake your lust for sense

Or exchange your risk for reason

 

Text produced for the exhibition Imploding by Agnes Nedregard, 2009