‘ … to say “I prefer not to” (and continue working)’
‘ … to say “I prefer not to” (and continue working)’ is not the same as to say ‘I prefer not to’ (and continue working). Neither is it ‘ … to say I prefer not to (and continue working)’ nor, simply, to say I prefer not to (and continue working).
To continue working: on what? Or, rather: as what?
First, to say ‘I prefer not to’ is not the same as to say ‘I prefer not to’ and continue working; it is to say ‘I prefer not to’ and to continue not working. Not working, though, for the one who says ‘I prefer not to’ is working. To continue not working, for the said one, is to continue working. To say ‘I prefer not to’ is to continue working as, not on.
To accept the invitation to say ‘I prefer not to’ and continue working is to accept the invitation not to refuse. To accept the invitation to say ‘I prefer not to’ and to continue not working is to accept the invitation to refuse. And now picture this: to accept the invitation to ‘ … to say “I prefer not to” (and continue working)’ (and to continue not working) is freedom. There is only one option of freedom: to refuse the invitation to ‘ … to say “I prefer not to” (and continue working)’ (and continue working). He did so.
He did so––continues working––and we have not heard of him since. If wisdom is a way of hiding melancholia, then silence is its big bang. And now face this: not to refuse an invitation to ‘ … to say “I prefer not to” (and continue working)’ (and continue working). Really, it was silly of me, before, to believe that he did so. She did not refuse the invitation: she accepted (and continues working). She was always elsewhere, she was an irremediable there, and she opposed herself to no utopia.
What should have been a critical rendering of particular modes of ‘staging’ has turned into self-criticism based on a concrete sketch with its own logic and its own integrity.
Miriam Sturzenegger, Ronny Hardliz, Julie Harboe. The last night of writing, in the research pavilion.
To accept the invitation to say ‘I prefer not to’ and to continue not working is to accept the invitation to refuse. And now picture this: to accept the invitation to ‘ … to say “I prefer not to” (and continue working)’ (and to continue not working) is freedom. There is only one option of freedom: to refuse the invitation to ‘ … to say “I prefer not to” (and continue working)’ (and continue working). He did so.
La scuola senza fine
16 mm, black and white film 40 minutes Production: Adriana Monti and the teachers from the '150 hours' Operator: Angelo Cordini Concept and realisation : Adriana Monti
In collaboration with Lea Melandri, Amalia Molinelli, Ada Flaminio, Antonia Daddato, Teresa Paset, Rina Aprile, Micci Toniolo, Paola Mattioli et Maria Martinotti.
After I had been working with a particular group of housewives for a year, we started shooting the film Scuola senza fine (literally, ‘School without end’) almost casually, in 1979. I was able to get equipment free of charge and money to pay for the film was made available. The women had taken the ‘150 Hours’ course and had been awarded the completion of secondary school diploma in 1976.
But they were reluctant to go back to spending their afternoons ironing or playing cards. So first we devised new seminars on literature, the body and the image.
Rediscovering the pleasure of reading and studying was like reliving their adolescence. It was important for them to have a teacher to whom they could tell in writing what they had done and thought, their past history and plans for the future. The teacher of the diploma course was someone who listened to them and made them think: Lea Melandri, who came from the Women’s Movement where she was considered a fine theorist and had been a promoter firstly of the “Gruppo dell’inconscio” (see p.7) and then of the “Sexuality and Writing group”. She was consequently familiar with issues related to the unconscious, to women’s relationships with each other, and to the individual’s relationship with culture and knowledge. She was able to strengthen the women’s expressive potential and transformed the adult education course into a study and research group which was later joined by more teachers and new students.
Watching the project develop was like uncorking a champagne bottle. The women’s writing matured and began to flow and sparkle while Lea, whose book L’infamia originaria was about to be published, did not write anything else for several years. The women students, encouraged first by Lea and the discovery of Freud, then by the other teachers and by science, philosophy, and linguistic analysis (visual, written, and body languages), filled page after page of their writing pads and exercise books ( or in Amalia’s case, loose sheets), with personal reflections on culture, themselves, their families, nature, and feelings.
Extract from website : http://www.universitadelledonne.it/english/scuola%20senza%20fine.htm
Kierkegaard. To tremble: as in muscle strain. To tremble as in realising that you found something magical.
When did it end? When did Art end? There is no Art. When did it end? When it started to be contemporary. Who cares.
I believe I trust in Love. Trust in love rather than believe in it. Do the work you want to do. Eros. Ethos. Unconditional sanctuary. Context of discovery.
Can you remember what was in the room? From the ladder perspective: bodies in different coloured clothes.
Julie Harboe, Ronny Hardliz, Petra Köhle, Camille Dumond - during the screening of LA SCUOLA SENZA FINE by Adrianna Monti.
Petra Koehle, Miriam Sturzenegger, Julie Harboe, Ronny Hardliz, San keller, Christl Mudrak and Nicolas Vermot-Petit-Outhenin - Writing process during the night
Table set for the dinner, in front of the house outside, on the public place of the surrounding buildings..
[ah yes! That is where the pillows went when Sat they graced the floor and Sunday moved to the chair with one remaining on the floor].
Miriam Sturzenegger's collected materials from the close-by channels and grounds of the area of the research pavilion
Plastic-bottle-island the size of Texas. And it is growing. Primary interests: Fucking and eating. Scaling down and mixing. Laterality and ethical propositions. Creating reality. A scene of a show that has already been produced. When was the golden age?
How do you cultivate the exchange between artists? Wind up your criticality. Such a real network.
We are cooking forward to having you tomorrow.
The first text from the “… to say, I prefer not to (and continue working)“
Very fine boned handles on the chair. I like that chair. The chair liked me. We bonded. Small table the third. Actually a foot rest.
The first text from the “… to say, I prefer not to (and continue working)“
Radical Matter. Peregrine. Inventing the is. Present tense. Pluperfect Present tense. Subjunctive present tense. Radical Matter. Horse sense. Gallop. Snow. Learn how to observe. Attunement. Can you remember what was in the room? From the ladder perspective: bodies in different coloured clothes. And black. Scattered pillow(s). actually only one. Tremble. To tremble as in fear and trembling. Kierkegaard. To tremble: as in muscle strain. To tremble as in realising that you found something magical. Like a magic garden, sitting off to the left. Gorgeous paint drops on a white sheet. Tiny tiny layers of salt. Gently dabbed onto surface white. Radical matter. Several neatly laid in perfect different sizes of water: berlin, venice, bottled water. Invisible layers writ large tiny. Tiny large. A desk. A wooden writing desk with chair. Abandoned while I’m on the ladder. Peregrine. Did anyone notice the little book laying on the floor? Peregrine by j.a. baker. Herzog’s favourite book of observation. Table the second. A second table. Flowing black velvet rock held in place. With white tape, but not on the walls! No not on the walls. Tape would ruin the paint work done to make the walls look like stone. Concrete. Plaster. Find the four screws to hold the monitor in place. Materials room kitchen hidden room with a thousand screws and bolts. Manhattan. Bold. Friendship. The courage of friendship. Courage to befriend. Learning how to friend. Queer. Queer that it is queer these days, this courage to befriend. A lost art need to be found. Founded. Midnight runs. And the open window! Saturday opened; Sunday closed! What is this about? Chair. Heavy brown clothed pillowed chair. [ah yes! That is where the pillows went when Sat they graced the floor and Sunday moved to the chair with one remaining on the floor]. Very fine boned handles on the chair. I like that chair. The chair liked me. We bonded. Small table the third. Actually a foot rest. No, a bench. Suitcase. Lots of wires!! Table the fourth. Computer mac apple repeating big brother sister other screen behind. No one sees this repeat, thinks I. Observation. No one but me and the chair see this repeat. A burp. Maybe just a fart. Wooden floor. Blonde wood. Cherished for the dancers’ foot. Ballet bars dot the perimeter! With mirrors! Light! Blonde wood floor gives way to earthy brown mottled floor. Small and smaller and smallest piles of brick. Dust brick dust. I wonder about the dust of dust. Adore the fingers of the artist petting the smallest piles of the brick dust. Memory. Memories. And as I walk the streets the dark streets at night winding my way home from canal vap to second canal vap and then to a third, I remember that dust of the piled brick and think: ah yes! and here are the dust memories writ large on the buildings flanking either side of my shoulders. Crucifixes adorning deserted monasteries. How did that happen? The ghosts of Venice. The ghosts of memory. Washed. Cleaned. Brick work. From my peregrine height of an aluminium ladder made to fold away or opened to reach the heights! How I soar! (says Nietzsche). Bench. She sits on a bench folded neatly against her legs, toes holding her firm to the floor. And now to the repeated video, rotating. Rotate. Matrix. Repeat. Mix. Sway. This way, then that. But the three columned moving image. So fine. Funny. Serious. Buster Keaton like. Wild, quietly doing its thing in the background now foreground now no ground. Mask. Masks of the outside world linked to the venice world worn to find memories on a beach that would not yield its secrets. Or would not yield its secrets yet. The drop. The DNA-less drop. Bloody hell that was a new one! A living wall. A chewy wall. A soft technology. A soft ecology technology ology. Radical matter. Flight to the upstairs. Fly my pretty fly! Up I go! Up I go! Hawkeye [sounds better than Peregrine Eye!] Light changing. Feeling light. Feeling light headed. Will I fall? Move the ladder. No. Move the body. No fear. Friendship to the steps! Encounter the steps! Large speakers. Small speakers. Micro phone taped to ladder. Feel the sun on my body. Laugh. Laughter. Story telling. Wisdom. Take courage. Drink courage. Bloods to be taken on Thursday. Water for me. Water water everywhere and ne’er a drop to drink, Melville proclaims! And I laugh! Yes! and I search for food, company. Radical matter re-search the search again. And again. Re-search the search. No goal [but I am not lost]. No cogito, but I do have logic, just not of the sterile kind. And now the back wall. Dotted with a sea of listeners. Attuned. Asleep. Bored. Energised. Rhythm of the breath. Collective breath. Collaborative breath. Brat breath. Evil breath. Joyous breath. Bored breath. We breathe. Encounter. Exchange. Colour. Touch and be touched. Listen!
Sent with love. Out of love. In love.
I liked her long sentences. Logic of sense. Endless conversations. It is better to sleep than to write.
You Must Remember This
You must remember this A kiss is just a kiss, a sigh is just a sigh. The fundamental things apply As time goes by.
(Music and words by Herman Hupfeld)
“… to say, I prefer not to (and continue working)“
You must love it.
I prefer not to.
You must love (it).
I prefer not to.
that’s what we expect.
(Prefer not to).
But of course you’re free.
If you prefer not to (and continue working).
As long as you love it.
As long as you love (it).
Anyway, here’s one I made earlier.
My rules. I’m free to break free.
Proximity, (in absentia).
If possible we would
You must love it.
What you do.
What you do.
You must make atmosphere.
And you must prefer not to prefer not to.
Process. Der Prozess.
You must continue working
While disavowing work.
You must be to be continued.
But understand how disappointed we are.
Disappointed by your attitude.
This tendency to prefer not to (and continue working).
You have not, we feel, understood the fundamental things.
You have not, we feel, understood how time goes by.
14 August 2017
You Must Love It. [Four memos for the next academic year.]
I believe I trust in Love. Trust in love rather than believe in it. Do the work you want to do.
Eros. Ethos. Unconditional sanctuary. Context of discovery.
I arrived at the very meaning of life itself. Paying attention to all that is around and not just to the object at the centre. Pokerface. Auf’s Spiel setzen. Radical Thinking. Working with my hands. Normal life.
Everyone who’s marked for death, dies. Recycling death is particular to earth. There is no art. When did it end? When did Art end? There is no Art. When did it end? When it started to be contemporary. Who cares. I [artist] am also an Art Historian. Wisdom as a way of hiding melancholia. The closer it gets to dust, the more you think of shape.
Miriam Sturzenegger presenting her research around the gathered materials from the surroundings of the research pavilion
No fear. Friendship to the steps! Encounter the steps! Large speakers. Small speakers. Micro phone taped to ladder.
I liked her long sentences. Logic of sense. Endless conversations. It is better to sleep than to write. Organize your thinking. Success is more important than glory. Four concepts, it could also be sentences. It could also be four drawings. This is something you invented, that won’t do. Hamlet goes business. Du dédoublement.
Rubbing against the framework? It’s more about admitting insecurities. There is a question, but I don’t know where it is. Analysis: Success is more important than space. Stealing from Deleuze. Blauer Kugelschreiber. Important keywords. When it is boring I fall asleep. It is a physical reaction. I did what I never intended to do.
The last morning
after thinking, talking and writing all night long in the research pavilion