A Sequel to the Story
Excitement is incredibly important. It fuels situations and dancing. We are a puddle of momentary happiness at the foot of this column of sound. Every week, dozens of these puddles melt together into a regular Friday. Vapors and thrills surround the column and rise above the city full of full moons.
The engineer of perspectives is also there, somewhere, giving out pamphlets. I never catch her but she is always there. When I grow up, I want to be an engineer of perspectives, said a raven-haired girl, skipping through the yellowing ashes of what was once a story. For a moment I could have sworn she looked all of us in the eyes before casting them back to what was important. The engineer kicked those ashes off and motioned her crew to proceed.
They always show up to purify the scene of a story after all dirty narrative deeds have been done. Starting with the remnants of this small and distant universe, they gathered only the important ones: a single porous palm stuck in a vulgar gesture, someone’s eyes still struggling to escape for the woods, and, of course, the small and vibrant calamity, immediately snatched by a confident hand. The collector of calamities held it, smiling, letting it drip all over her elbow, then sealing it gently in a bottle of ink. The ravenhead giggled. I could have a sworn I giggled with her.
The engineer of perspectives doesn’t concern herself with raising structures – she specializes in being raised by structures. Together with the collector of calamities they approach the universe from a diagonal angle, interjected in a wall of reality. Their gaze travels through the teleport tube and always returns back to one of the many incarnations of earth. They held hands and talked shop.
“There are so many shadows of geometry here,” the engineer said. “Someone set out to build a world and left a huge mess for us. Long lines at the bar be damned. Once my glass is full, you better start your collection of shots.”
“We can still recover some continuation, though,” the collector replied. “Soon this will glide smoothly, like a long-desired sequel. I like this party a lot, it’s lovely to see so many individuals out there, to watch all their connections emanate and evaporate, all those gazes wandering and returning.”
The engineer of perspectives and the collector of calamities are figures from the pure in-betweenness, the ravenhead explains. They do their best to cast away characters, and yet can function as types of people – such as those who visit exhibitions. They meet there sometimes, retreat to the corners to kiss and play harmless tricks on each other. They know the importance of what fills space to the brim: scattered punches, given or taken, a child hiding doors and maybe a small animal’s patient gaze. I watch how the ravenhead grows up into a fully formed cat. She works in trains now, adjusts the cabin windows just right, so that the light falls straight into the eyeholes of sleeping passengers, goes in through one and leaves at once through another.
During the past year I have switched cities and ambitions. I have redrawn geographies of every emotion, I have circled around a few towers of joy. I haven’t been under the table though. It’s nice here, I just need to follow the ravenhead’s gaze. Change is so unremarkable, I have worn it every day for so long now. Now we are both just dancing in a circular motion, a motion that every column demands. To hell with characters, says the engineer of perspectives, all they do is burn worlds down. The only way to carry a story is to let someone straight into a big secret.
And what a big secret it is, one where all the daily dances start anew and the light suddenly branches and as I recover I am still dripping pearls into my own lap. The collector of calamities gathers them smiling and seals them into those ink bottles. I crack one open and it comes out as bubbling champagne. Shapes only make sense when they are difficult to define, and that is why the column stops.
“Let’s go”, the engineer motions.
They finish the cleanup and retreat to their poetic devices. The ravenhead’s gaze shines upon a city full of full moons. I will always be a puddle of momentary happiness in the middle of a big secret, and excitement, more than anything, is extremely important to me.
Martin Ebner, Kitty Kraus
Brochure, 84 pages, English/Lithuanian
CAC – Contemporary Art Centre, Vilnius, 2016
With contributions by Tenzing Barshee, Mihaela Chiriac, Haytham El-Wardany, Monika Kalinauskaitė, Valentinas Klimašauskas, Ariane Müller, Audrius Pocius & Nicholas Matranga