feel, coffin , normal , magical,, normative , door , stairs , praying, world , invite , invigorate ,wall, segregated , realise , hijab, goodbye womanhood


I feel like I know all of them. But I don't know if I remember that much of the context, not much detail. I recognize that it's Superman. And that is Clark Kent turning into Superman. It looks like a comic book. But I don't know. I don't know enough of the comics, I haven't read them as a kid. But he's transforming and he's carrying off his suit or whatever to be Superman. I've seen the TV show a fair amount. But it's cool that he's like breaking out of the telephone post. That's kind of neat.I don’t remember that he was transforming inside the booth. I didn't realise that. But I could see in the picture now that he's doing it. I didn't remember that, but I remember him taking off his clothes, his glasses and stuff. Or maybe it is this gesture that I remember, the gesture of him ripping his suit. Oh, yeah, so I know he'll probably take off his clothes. 

I know that this one is in the Wonderland. I remember having read the old book with the John Tenniel illustrations and I can recognize that this is the Disney version here. Alice goes there and I think the Tea Party is one of the first things that happen. And we have the Mad Hatter and the rabbit and stuff and it's a surreal thing and gets more intense after that. Like the world is just totally different and she sees the potions and “drink me” stuff and she can see the Cheshire Cat. So, she's in this magical land where she is basically doing hallucinogenic drugs on a semi-regular basis. When I was first reading Alice I was thinking “who is this man writing this stuff? Like he's definitely something, he's maybe on the spectrum of autism.” It’s like he's not relating to other adults. He's relating to this child as an adult through this story, that’s what is happening. And it's not creepy. Because at first when I read it, was like, oh, there's some creepy weird kind of feeling or something, but it’s just how his mind works; differently. And I think when people do drugs, they get that. For them it's a magical world. It's magical because it's not exactly right. Or like not exactly normal. I don’t want to say that normal is good or anything like that. But normal is normal. Normal is what you have encountered as normal to the humankind. The banker is normal, right? Or better, normative. I think that's really the term. I work at an office job and I am obviously speaking in that job in a very different way than I would speak to you or somebody in another context. It’s not because I am a different person, it is because that is a normative environment.

Star Trek? I only know it from memes, I have never watched it, I have no patience for space operas, but I love low-budget sci-fi and know that it’s the ir “Beam me up, Scotty” technology to get transported on and off the ship and these other planets. 

Superman, Alice, Star Trek, it’s "the other world” kind of stuff. It's like alternate reality, it is about expanding the body’s borders. There is just absolute terror, this annihilation that happens, you feel like you would die and are reborn. That's the only way to understand this physical process. That’s why I think there's something deeply horrifying about both Star Trek and Alice in Wonderland. But Superman, he doesn't really change, the perception of him changes. Right? He just takes off a jacket. He's not even in a different world. He steps out of the telephone booth, but he's not in an alien world. The other two are. He also changes but not fundamentally. He just takes off a costume and puts on a different costume. He's a stable character. And in Superman and in Alice there are doors. And this Star Trek device is a portal. So, they’re all going through doors, portals.

For me church is a portal. Almost all churches are. I've been to lots of religious places, places of worship, and that’s a really important place for me. The location can be really powerful, you go there and it's a different temperature, and there could be a completely different aesthetic. There's a different vibe. Everything is different about it. It's a different set of rules. And there's maybe a ritual going in as well. But I get this also when hiking and going into caves or under a gateway of trees where for instance grapes are growing in a little arch. I like botanical gardens that have that. 

Once, I was in Iran and I was still a girl, with five other people, I was in a group of boys, we went to a mosque but it was gender-segregated. So, I went alone, and they went all together. As I am going alone, I am clearly different -also because I ‘m a blonde -but actually, many people in Tehran have blonde hair. But still ‘m feeling so awkward, and have to wear a hijab. There are two girls that come up to me. Later they told me they are sisters and they're like 20 or 21 years old. They invite me to follow them. And we go between this wall like a separator and there's stairs and we go down these stairs and then there’s a designated line, like in an airport or something like that with these ropes and we go past one of those. We go to an empty room that’s so bright, it's empty and it's in the basement. And inside there's this coffin or remains of some saint, I don't know. And it's somehow holy. And then we all put our hands on it and invigorate the front of the coffin. And then we stood there but we weren't praying- not in a public way. We were all having an experience. Then we all went upstairs. I had very little interaction with them. So, it was like they had just noticed me when we were outside and they wanted to show me this thing.

They didn’t ask me to put my hand on it, but they did it and that felt like an invitation. It was literally sneaking past this random wall opening and going physically down the stairs, and there was a different world. Also, a different world in terms of my religion. So, I felt I am invited in that but also this was the last year I was a woman. So in a number of ways I felt this moment of “God, I'm so glad I'm still a woman so I can have this moment”. And I think that was my goodbye to womanhood. It was really powerful. I feel so lucky that I got to see this before I left. 


Device: mosque, relic

Transition: mystical

Interface: touch