I travel to Poland.
I cross the plains between Berlin and Warsaw by train. In 1994 I take LSD in Warsaw in an old hotel. I can see these plains full of troops, silently moving forward. I look at them from an extremely high angle, I can see how many soldiers they are, they are tiny dots on the wide plains. I’m scared.
I want to jump out of the window, but then my friend makes me laugh and we take a bath. The water is yellow.
Edward Krasinski was then living a few streets away walking down Nowy Swiat and turning left. I could have easily met him, he was sitting in the same café every day, keeping his alcohol level up and looking for people to talk to.
I go down Nowy Swiat and turn left. I find the café. I recognize Krasinski, he looks like his photo, the photo that is hanging behind his chair.
I sit down. I can’t speak Polish. Krasinski looks at me, disapprovingly.
We sit for a while, he orders a drink for me that I don’t touch.
I have a small black ball in my pocket that I take out and place on the table between us. Krasinski looks at it pensively, suddenly stretches out his hand and takes it.
When I get to visit his apartment, years later, after his death, I see that he put my ball between the grid and the glass of the window that shows to the terrace. It sits there quite innocently, not really visible from the inside of the apartment because it is mostly hidden by the Daniel Buren stripes of yellowing, cracking plastic. No one seems to have noticed it much, so far. There is no photo of it in any of the catalogues about Krasinskis work and studio.
I bought this ball in 2004 in a small mineralogical shop. I think it was in the park below Zamek Ujazdowski. I don’t know what it is made of, it is extremely light weight.
The black ball is in my hand. I close it around it, it’s very smooth and cool. Its blackness is visible even through touch. My fingertips see.
A small mouse. It’s dead, it lies in a corner, it’s little paws clawing the air.
A shadow mouse, a companion, hushes by, it’s a see-through thing.
There is also a photo of Stalin.
A wooden piece of parquet protrudes by about a finger’s width: too small, too delicate an obstacle to make you stumble and fall, but nevertheless very irritating.
Why should the wall retreat when I touch it. I stretch out my hand, and my sheer will makes the furniture double into the other part of the apartment.
A small mouse scurries round the corner to the toilet. I open the door and see an old man having his shit. It stinks, the biting smell of digested alcohol. It makes me feel like vomiting.
He looks at me. I open the two fists that I had held behind my back. Which one will it be? He points at my right hand, and I open it. A glass eye. – WHY? –
He nods. I return to the room and position the glass eye in a little pot made out of fragrant polished wood that I find on the table.
The wall retracts. I shift it by looking at it. Because my glance is stable, oh yes! If I follow the line, I can move straight ahead. That is, until the point of course, at which the line becomes crooked. There, of course, I will have to err, on a slippery slope, wherever it takes me. Up and down, top and bottom. I’ve lost the end.
No end. Inside and outside are same. The small border between them hurts different in different places. The breath of god smells sweet when it gets drawn into your nostrils. But this is only the door through which he passes, and the inside of the house is the same as the outside in the countryside. This god likes games, he likes toys. Jokes and riddles. He is the trickster. He also likes his fools drunk.
I want to place one glass eye inside Krasinski’s apartment, and throw the other one at the Seminaire á la campagne into the air of the Parisian countryside. But Andrzej declines. The studio is now a museum, I can’t just place objects in it.
It has taken a final form. It doesn’t move, communicate or procreate any more. All it does is digesting its own inside until it becomes completely mummified. The blue tape is coming off in places. I want to caress, touch, stroke, lie on the floor. The old man is not happy.
The glass eyes belong to an extremely large body, looking cross-eyed, stretched out between Paris and Warsaw. The free air vibrates where this giant head is helplessly breathing in and out, one eye looking this direction, the other that. It can’t move, I hold it down, pinned down at the two points of the eyes I placed on the ground.
The Séminaire à la Campagne goes very well. It’s a beautiful day, and we are all in a good mood. I tell them this story, using a megaphone. Sound is easily distracted in the countryside.
I ask the audience to retrace the drawing the black ball made on the floor. We measure the exact distances between the points at which the ball has touched the metal, thus describing the space to the annex to Krasinskis studio into the air in the Parisian countryside. They throw the black ball along these invisible lines, aiming at the pot made out of fragrant polished wood that I placed in the middle.
When they hit it, the glass eyes spring out. The audience is surprised, even shocked. Then they lie down again, lulled by the warm air, some go asleep.
Now I can finally pass trough the door from the terrace into the apartment. I walk in and sit down.
I eat one of the blue glass eyes and bury the other one in the ground.
This is how to arrive in the countryside, in Zalesie. Here everything is at its right place. There is no time. Everything is always present, kept together by the blue line of the heart.
The extra dimensions that are rolled into our visible three become apparent, and with long legs and arms you can make them dance.