The sea by Jürgen Wolf (translated from German by Marlen Tischer)
She absolutely wants to read a story written by me about the sea. I asked her, she said she wants to read a story about the sea or heard her saying, maybe she hears while reading. Anyways I know she wants a story about the sea. I could also write her a story about the sea but it would be the wrong story because it is a true story. This story happened to me while I was on holidays by the sea with my wife in Sri Lanka. Later a man told me that the same story had happened to him. Hence it is nearly a common story. On the other hand this story is a story she might not want to hear. I could imagine she wants to hear a story about the sea, boats with white sails at the horizon. The afar is increased by the longing thus a potentization of the dreaming away. I would like to be at the back there. Sometimes I imagine while taking a walk that I remember one particular cloud. I then describe this cloud in my mind. I draw an imaginary draft and swear I will remember this cloud until the end of my days. But I have broken all of these vows. I cannot think of one of these clouds. I do not know why I cannot do it. I have an elephant’s memory. I remember everything. Every useless thing I remember forever. My head is full of minor matters. The cloud I wanted to remember is gone, away as clouds can be. Maybe I will write a story about a cloud. A cloud that rains over the sea, a raining cloud over the sea. A cloud that helps the sea even existing. But I do not want a story like that. This story would be full of dying. But I cannot think of dying at the moment because I think of it all the time anyways. I am not afraid of dying. No it is not the fear it is the devotion to the inner dying.
Writing would only be a distortion of the inner dying. Maybe writing is only a distortion of life that passes. I do not want it to pass. I want to go out but before I have to write a story about the sea. I have promised it to the woman with the long blonde hair who sometimes passes my life and sometimes comes into it. I was supposed to write a story about a woman who plays with her son by the sea. The son would build sand castles with shuffles and buckets. She was supposed to lie in a deckchair and watch her son. Later she would collect everything and leave the beach. During the night the tide comes in the sand castle are flattened by the sea. Everything is sand. The next day the son builds a new sand castle and another one and another one until the holidays are over. This would be a nice story about the sea. A story full of beauty and melancholy. Everybody would understand it because everybody has been by the sea during his or her childhood days. Everybody would look up to the child for building a new castle every day. Later it will be harder to build new castles all the time. I should write a brave story about the childlike building of castles. A story about the great sea that should give us courage and I would put a sun set at the end of a great symphony. But I cannot do this. My heart is beating way too fast. I smoke too much. I have a great anxiety. The rhythm is not right yet. Maybe I should write a story about the sea inside myself. A man jumps into himself. He runs over his tongue. Jumps. Lets himself fall and fall. Lands inside his own sea where he dives into, drowns, gets back up and breathes in where he finds rest. He is now inside himself. Lets himself float. He is looking at the sky full of stars. He is thinking about the sky being so close. Like a trunk he is floating in the dark river. He does not hear any voices anymore, only a distant sound or the sea singing a song?
Nude by Jürgen Wolf
Charming was a word she had not voiced for a long time. Vixen was the word that seemed appropriate to him. Charming how he let her win, she thought and he: The vixen has really defeated me. The words vixen and charming were in the air or were still hidden in the bodies or untouched or closed with fear or so and the arrow stuck in the second ring and the sun was shining on the dry grass and the bow was lying there and the house and the voice of the sports reporter from the radio: That can’t be true and he and she nude. In all that they were standing around and we do not know it or it is just like that. Cautiously he pulled the arrow out of the disc. He clapped out twice to drive away the silence. He did not know what to say. He would have liked to bite on his lower lip, but that was already done by her. It just did not fit. At an earlier time he would have thought, the sky opened when two people with arrow and bow, like in an old painting, were facing each other nude, but how he realized that love was not a heavenly power but a chain of unfortunate circumstances. We think we can go and get everything back by looking, stamping, breathing, being silent and clapping as applause. In this respect nude people should do more clapping (see success with women). For clapping that drives away the silence does not only cheer up the resting molecules, but also raises the eyebrow slightly, nearly imperceptibly of the person opposite, and especially with nude people small changes are big changes, as history shows. Both are now standing in front of this disc with the beautiful coloured rings. Both seem in their way credible. Nude as credible as two nude people who do not know what to say to each other. At an earlier time one would have been ashamed of this speechlessness and even earlier, after the expulsion, also of the nudity. Today one is not ashamed any more. Anxiety is the big theme and so no needs to be ashamed. Experiencing apprehension has nothing to do with feeling ashamed. We want to point that out by example of the nudes: What is the man, called he, apprehensive about? It is the word vixen. Unnoticed from all he lets the word vixen roll off his tongue: Vixen, you vixen. And what is the woman, called she, worried about? His clapping, which makes her hair stand up on her neck. You cannot fetch back something by thinking, but with holy shudder. Back to the beginning: Vixen and clapping, clapping and vixen, vixen and clapping and so on. What a cosmos, what an evolution. Here fish turns into man. Here in the spinal cord the holy shudder has its seat. Here everything started. Here it is beautiful. Here the music plays. Here the atmosphere is good. Here is there. Here is the bull and the beer and both, he and she form the nudist club and here we are. We are standing around the two nudes. Lined up we take a photo of the winner of the disc. The music begins to play. We clap our hands. Apprehension has caught us. We are united with the nudes in a whirl of excitement which drives us around inside and which drives away the night into the day, which lets everything light up, which has nothing to say. Now we are on the highest step of apprehension. The photographer takes another photo. Time stands still. We see people on the beach, their bodies laid down, stretched towards the sun, only to disappear in the waves, come up again, dry themselves with towels, lie down again. Their skin fades. The more south we go the clearer we can see the moon. The heat takes all. Life goes on, even if the two nudes look into the camera together with us unmoved. Only loneliness remains, as well as apprehension and silence. There is no comparing. The individual is ignorant. Maybe this has to do with the heat. We know about the signs: Lunch hour from 1-3 p.m., but is this really the solution? Surely not. There must be something in our genetic spiral which makes us wait, an experience prior to the big bang or maybe it is only the chirping of the crickets or the roaring sea. All right, we will die without having answered this question. Our minds will continue living in the ants, as he had said. We, however, who are standing with the nudes, think: It is the crickets.
Room journey by Jürgen Wolf (translated from German by Marlen Tischer)
This is how a human works; a collection of God knows what playing on his or her mind. I took the bedside lamp and put it where the armchair was. I positioned the armchair underneath the curtains infused by the illusion that someone could sit there. I put the bedside locker on top of the bed. With the toothbrush, the shower gel, the perfume, the soap and other small items from the bathroom I drew a line from the door to the garderobe. I wanted it to look like a triangle or an angle. Maybe I only wanted it to look like Maths class in my childhood – or had it been in my youth? – It did not matter. Anyways, I wanted to show something that I had not really understood in former times. A shoe was hanging by its lace from the lamp like a pendulum. I tipped the shoe with two fingers. I knotted the legs of my trousers. Put them on top of a pillow in the bed. It looked nice: pillow, trousers, and knot. My underwear, also those from the suit case, I threw out of the window. I opened the suitcase looking like spread legs. The suitcase was now in the shower. I turned on the cold tap letting it flow into the suitcase. If I had known how to fold paper boats I would have put paper boats into the suitcase lake: boats in monsoon. Thus I lit the note pad of the hotel olympic and put it into the sink: fire and water. In the USA or in a non-smoking hotel the sprinkler installation would have turned on. Underneath the bedpost I put a coin. I truly believed that the coin underneath the bedpost would bring luck. Is there luck underneath a bedpost? Or should I put my nose underneath the bedpost? Back or forth? I opted for the coin, for the coin, for luck against the instinct. An insensitive thing like my old friend from Vienna used to say and he meant insensitively intuitive. My journey with images from the dark room continued. I wanted to renew everything; I took the slatted frame from the bed. Before I put the mattress in front of the door of the room into the hallway. The trousers I put around my neck like a patricide. I probably thought that a patricide is a tie what it possibly also is. I did not care about the words it was the feeling around the neck, the around the neck feeling like in a phone call that is ended abruptly by the other side. Why does the beautiful always end abruptly? Thus I took the slatted frame. I put the frame against the wall. I looked at my Jacob’s ladder. Like a holy person from an Italian basilica I swore to myself kneeling down: I will never again leave this room. I swore never to open the doors again. If you do not leave a room no harm will be done. Blaise Pascal was also convinced that one does not spend enough time in ones’ room and that most misfortune happens to people because they leave their rooms. I switched off the light. Before, I took my camera. Thereby I had the feeling that in the beginning everything that is in my head can be freely assembled like images and thoughts, things and items from the room. Like a family portrait of my inner thoughts. I wanted to apply the feeling that my inner thoughts were in a strange land onto the outer being the hotel room that seemed strangely real to me. How can you depict the feeling of homesickness although you are at home? The disarrangement of the known world seemed a solution to me. I was in no crises although it seemed like it. I did not feel alienated. On the contrary I felt alive, full of life, full of myself but still everything had been different since a few months. The known seemed like an unknown closeness. I had now become the scientist of my room. I went on a journey through my room. Everything was just like me, as an efficient traveller would believe it to be.
All images © of the artist and Galerie Jarmuschek+Partner