(the belly) birds of paradise club « the imagination conceived in the primitiveness of its strength designates the belly as a happy, warm, quiet region. / it is the center of the great gray river, the center of the rain-washed sky, the buoy of the flood. it heavily digests the universe. » - bachelard, earth and reveries of repose It’s a wasteland on the city’s heights at the jungle’s edge. On fine nights, at sunset, we drive up there: a dozen or so cars, four or of us five by car, winding up the slopes from the town. The trail of vehicles stops just short of our destination. We girls get out and walk to the field. There we see a golden disk, a patch of light whose circumference is picked out by a hundred or so thin, ductile, translucid, one meter high batons, sending yellow laser beams into the centre of the circle. We all take a number and line up behind each other, waiting our turn. Light catches clothing, creating shimmers, making flowers bloom. Our time comes and we enter the ring with the light circling our waists. Once in the centre, we look to the east, like looking in a mirror, belly first the way the sky faces the earth. Our driver moves the car to the circle’s edge. At the raising of a hand, he slams on the accelerator, drifting around the ring in the dark, the front bumper glued to the light. It smells like burning rubber. At our core, there is an unwinding spiral, our dance simply mirrors this movement as we turn unceasingly on our own axes. What is inside spills out. That is all we can ever offer to the world: our raw and naked inner selves. With centrifugal momentum, we shift away from the circle’s centre, from its pivotal point. With each revolution the driver signals to the man in the back seat with a gun in his hand. An arm reaches from the car, the gun fires. The handgun’s silencer eliminates the muzzle flash shockwave: what counts here is the effect of the bullet, whose trajectory traces the circle’s diameter. The bullet flies across the circle, displacing the air, bending the light, like time compressing and wearing down space. Its passing creates an infinitesimally fine wavefront that washes through us, tsunami-like. This is our countdown: we know we can only have four rounds – north south east west spring summer autumn winter. At the end of the fourth round we leave the light and the jungle briefly swallows us, allowing the unreality of time to extinguish our trace. Back in town they call us the Birds of Paradise Club, named for that plant with the strangely blooming flower.
STRATA-MRS THE VOLUME OF LIGHT everybody here is saying that light is an electromagnetic wave and wave is a form of energy and energy has no volume. i would like to contradict those sayings. light is made up of photon particles. photon is one of the fundamental particles of physics' standard models. photon is responsible for electromagnetic force. it has a spin of 1 and a mass of 0<1×10^-18 ev/c² . its mass is lower than 0 so it seems somehow negligible according to our science. negligible because our science isn't that developped. our science forces us to say that it has no mass. still photon has a mass and it has volume though our science fails to precisely measure it and that's why we call it point particle having zero volume, same way we call dark matter a certain kind of matter that is unkown to us and that we can't explain. our knowledge of measurements is still very limited.* *somehow poetic comment found in an internet thread
far side of the moon chungking, 2017. we’re in a taxi, the humidity thickens the night. the city is red and blue; fuchsia, our pink and black skins stick to the leather interior. a sentimental song floats out of the radio. that same song was playing at the 7-eleven check-out this morning, and years ago in a bus driving to tianjin. it carries that feeling of solitude in which whole worlds emerge. later in the hotel room, w. is sprawled on her bed. i see her stretched out, isolated in a dim halo of white led light, and that same feeling returns. i take a picture. / this work consists of photographs from the series chinese city dying flower. they have been altered using a computer programme that partially emulates the effect of a rutt/etra video synthesiser. the brightness data in the original image has been transformed into depth data, giving the photograph an adjustable, three dimensional aspect and rendering the body as a spacial expanse, a landscape. the version of the moon represents my heart sung by taiwanese singer teresa teng in 1977 holds particular significance in chinese pop music. authorised for release by the mainland regime after several decades of revolutionary songs, it her-alded a shift towards the individual, towards the intimate. the title refers to humanity’s first soft landing on the Far Side of the Moon, achieved by China’s Chang’e 4 mission on January 3rd, 2019.
chinese city dying flower chungking megacity, china it’s maybe eleven o’clock at night. a man disappears into a building and she follows. an elevator ride, another floor and another man in a suit. down the first, long, narrow corridor, groups of young people sing karaoke behind glass doors. at the end of the corridor - the rooftop, it’s dark out. backlit by giant neon ideograms, a line of girls in micro-dresses queue up for the second corridor. yes, a dance party, she says. she takes the corridor, identical to the first, but for the opaque doors and bouncers with headsets stationed in front. the line of girls stops outside the last door. a bouncer takes each girl’s telephone one by one. through a gap in the door - three large men. i grab her arm, let’s go. another day in the elevator a business man, sylvio, hands her his card. back in the room, she writes him an email, she thinks we don’t have enough money. later, one morning, she gets a call from reception. he’d left an envelope with notes, 300 renminbi, 43.62 dollars in total. she laughs. another day she says, i always wanted to be beautiful.
dying flower chungking megacity, china glass cube, laser print.
romeo with a d like rodeo riding through algiers Romeo with a d like rodeo your beauty is rougher than the sun. Around us the steel membrane is intimate space expanded. We burn rubber through the city going nowhere and it’s like a scream and the desert dust carpeting the streets floats up as we go past, scratching at our mouths, and we pulse right through to the sea. Going nowhere, we burn through the city. Way down low, on the coastal boulevard Saïd Touafdit, the shell of a screaming vessel lies like defeat looking out at the blue and we’re gripped by the desire to run. But we don’t run, or if we do we come back, and the city chokes up until it implodes majestically under the weight of those who live wandering, refusing to accept, or enduring, disoriented, the possibilities they are denied.
BUDAPEST VARSOVIE PARIS ORLY VIENNE CARACAS AUSSI
thought space time
SCALA SCALA (2021)
BIRDS OF PARADISE CLUB
FAR SIDE OF THE MOON
CHINESE CITY DYING FLOWER
ROMEO WITH A D LIKE RODEO
living in the space between reality and fiction, adventure and wayfaring