Long Distance


Eröffnung: Samstag, 30. März 2024, 16–20 Uhr

Geöffnet: 31. März – 11. Mai 2024

Dear reader

Admit yourself to proximity.

With distance, every letter is a love letter.

For the first time in all the years of traveling back and forth and around, I submit myself to the ÖBB night jet. My capitulation is no surprise, though a slight disappointment. As if a natural continuation of our work; to spend nights before exhibitions in an upright position, even if this time, correlations are reversed: not awake because I’m working but working because I’m awake. A bottom-line improvement, if we assume that working through the night is “not good for you” because it’s “unhealthy”, “disorganized” or “points at your workaholism.” But we’d always lean more towards a kind of romanticization of self-exploitation. There is a rush to it, even when I’m sitting in my childhood bedroom far away from it all. A glare – my cat, a nocturnal animal, imploringly eyes me from across the room. The silence between her and me, between us and the rest of the house, seems to form a mutual understanding. I think of you within the quiet. It seems as if these after hours flip us over into a similar sphere, opening up an interconnected space. The distance is still there, yet I can sense you’re here with me, working through the night. It takes a while and quite some patience to understand, let alone accept, what works for us and that, perhaps, this might look a little different to what works for others.

Love letters have always worked for us.

As I reveal in the very first two words of my writing, this is a letter addressed to you. The point of view in this letter is primarily first-person. The narrator is not immediately identified, but it is widely understood to be us. You and I never cared much for what we were taught about art writing – holding your reader at an arm’s length but never any closer. Rather, I am interested in the possibilities of an “I”. The “I” belongs to everyone. It’s a grammatical shifter. Anyone who wants it can grab it. Parts found in this letter belong to a reality we both share and parts escape my mind, taking shape within a genre of letter-writing that draws from the personal imagination. Either way, I’m putting myself into a position of both power and vulnerability here. My letter is worthless without you on the other side. I imagine holding an old parchment scroll, it tumbling down on the floor and rolling onwards, over an imaginary horizontal plane – all the way to you.

I really miss you since I moved.

Isn’t it strange how fast you get used to certain things. While cardboard boxes would crowd my space at first, they’ve long become part of its spatial disposition. There’s an ambiguity within the box’ simultaneous showing and hiding. I don’t see what’s inside but they provide the simplest tool of measurement – “Oh… You own a lot of things!” This winter, I spent some time perfecting the cardboard volume-to-weight-to-body-mass-ratio, yet, my exhaustion stems less from the heavy lifting than from the feeling of utter exposure. Moving houses is a fragile process that should be looked after with great care. It has always been easier for me to ask for help when hiding behind a collective identity. And even though we conceptualize a healthy symbiosis, the truth is, I lag behind, only gradually coming to terms with a loss of my autonomy.

After all, it is thanks to you that I am here today.

I attempt to grasp fragments of memories, little mementos from you, as my heart aches at the thought of moving on. I’m packing and unpacking, only to pack and unpack all the objects that I surround myself with again and again. Metonymic once we hold them in our hands, unsure which box they should go in. It’s a balancing act between where they fit best in either shape or category of use. There are easy boxes – clothes, bags, shoes, books or kitchen stuff, there are more ambig-uous ones, set out to confuse our memory, and then there remains the box of sentimental value. I wonder which objects will go in that very box once we move away from here.

Hamlet has been a steady crossroad for us. It has felt romantic even; you, traveling all this way to see me, for us to briefly entangle our lives and then take off again, pulled into different directions, somewhere be-tween the art world’s demands and our own feverish desires. Somewhere on the tracks between Berlin and Leipzig, I gaze at a waning moon. Perhaps the only point of reference amidst an ever-changing land- and cityscape. I’ve been losing myself in many things recently. But losing oneself in the vast anonymity of a mega city might also entail we find yet another landmark, yet another part of ourselves. Momentarily, the moon coincides with my reading lamp’s reflection in the train’s window. Do you notice the shape of tonight’s sickle? I like to lay under a star crossed sky. I like to contemplate on how you would see similar con-stellations. It would bring us closer – everything too vast to comprehend would appear as simple as this very idea. You and me, both, can always return here.

Once more, we rely on new characters to play, another stage to bravely conquer. Where will I meet you again?

And with favorable winds they sail away.

2 Boys Broken Hearts