The earth is portioned out. Nobody is deported and not elsewhere taken in.

One may lock up and kill the disliked. Or take their place away, keep it from them.

The homeless are not only those without a roof above their head. A tent or a camping bus is not a domicile. Whoever has no permanent and legal residence has less rights then a citizen without money.

More dangerous are those who have a place where unobserved they spread and hide. Those who live on the treet epitomise reeking, self-defamatory distress loud and drunken or suspiciously docile, begging just by presence. As they huddle up, they offend.

Every high rise is an abstruse wall stretched into the air. Streets are long tubes where exhaust and discharged air clog. No shoe absorbs the hardness of the asphalt street without rebounding too much. It takes an effort to spend an hour without the intention to buy. Or to find rest when not in a hotel.

The open city takes on everybody who finds and pays for a place.

Those with means may move around, demand concessions and disappear when opportune.

Every State is based on the enforcement of property relations. Everyone is expropriated of that ehich belongs to another. Every legal dealing assumes an imbalance between what you wish to receive and what you are prepared to give up. Without fuss you shove trash in a mailbox or transfer money into an account. Only owners have a key for collection and withdrawal.

There is never enough. What available does not suffice to give everybody as much as they want. Competing interests of different kinds recede behind the desire of too many for the same.



The Self-build Hut in the Wood near the Motorway


Constantly I make filth and take other people’s place. I tend a lot that fends for me, and so do wrong.

I toss out and leave behind all that is not essential and live in a hut, that is no house.

The hut promises a life in which you need nothing more than a shelter, protection from the wind, rain and cool nights. A makeshift thing which sooner or later moves you on.

The forest is a counter image. While still depandent on it, we long for it as something lost and gone. A motorway, a barrier running lenght and crossways. Every contact truncated, I’m involved only with myself and the area occupied by me. I regard myself as unconditionally responsible to them.

I carry the burden while I can avoid it. What would have hurt has become something else or my death.

Huddled in the cold I know it wouldn’t be worse if I stretched out. The next morning my body is stiff and I have a cold. If I keep myself warm, I don’t need to worry.

The wind prepares a roof from the meagre tree tops. The passable toilet is free. But the search for food is futile.

Picking from the forest is tolerated, not hunting or planting.

I build a tree house that doesn’t need a piece of land and which no one sees. High above I’m menacing, but the devils are you.


The Police discovers the self-built Hut of a Tramp in the Wood near the Motorway


In Baroque chiaroscuro turned inward the tramp might appear as an innocent accused, a heroic hermit, devout, fated – these are suppositions. Shortly before the police patrol has discovered him near his illegally erected hut.

Vigilant the policeman waits with a slight turn of the head. One of Colette’s youths with good manners, a smooth face and resembling a very pretty mother. The uniform makes him extraordinarily neat and clean. He’s duty bound, in a permanent wedding dress, to the terrible things experienced and perpetrated in his job.

A second policeman, the one who completes the patrol, is hidden by a close-up. Gazes tunnel into the hut and thicket encountering, behind what can be seen, flat back.

The story hovers in the dark. The ensemble shows a situation without ordering space or time. Even the painter can not know what some of the picture parts are. She photographed a television report. The foliage came later, photographed blindly into a flash illuminated night.

The television informs us much about the world. Points of view of course are given but we have the option to stop in certain places. Single frames step out of the continuous action and make, regardless how fast the news streams, a shuffle rythm.

In Antje Majewski’s paintings brilliant lights are muted. The pixel of the television images are dissolved. As in memory, she has reconstructed, symplfying and guessing at details. The pictures anticipate and prepare the usually synthesising imagination of the viewer.

No one can know enough. You can be outraged or gain more information. You can go there and live yourself – why not. If you want, you can become a person who has a clue about a lot of things. Big, beautiful, shattered world.


Translated by Dominic Eichler

In: Antje Majewski, Einer zu viel, Kunstverein Ulm, Ulm 2001