16/12/16 - 18/12/16

Peach @ W139, Part 4: THE LIFE INTENSE

Jenifer Nails was invited by Peach to take part in their monumental 4-part exhibition at W139, Amsterdam with 2 projects: a collaborative text work by Aleksandra Bielas & Gislind Köhler and a music performance by Daniel Stempfer.

You can find the whole documentation here.


Aleksandra Bielas & Gislind Köhler

Dear Now

Dear Now: can I only write about now? It seems that now is swallowing me fully every time it is now. Dear now: I feel so bad so ashamed or just nervous nervous nervous again I am doing something I wanted to do but do I still want it? I can always go back. I could. I am not the postcard sent two months ago (the day after I've sent it I felt so helpless -- a piece of paper that was meant to deliver a message was then my fate). I couldn't stop it. I've been analyzing the mail structures and thinking how I could stop this postcard. But there was no way of doing it. I am more than a piece of paper or I try to be but dear now: I am carried by a train and I am helpless again. The insecurity of my veins. The body that I don't want. Why is my body so much against me at the moment? Much more dear now: why am I so much against my body now? The promised peace doesn't want to arrive. Has it also been sent by mail?

Oh dear, I wish I could be there for you, be there right now. But miles lay between us and we can hardly glimpse our current sequences of nowness. There is this distance that seems to be unavoidable. Since my right now always seems to be your recent past. Likewise your now is my near future. This dilemma is so present right now - and I am sitting in this random cafe, sipping my freshly squeezed health drink, happy that it at least came without the green stuff that automatically makes you feel sick, and pondering about how to realize this time-travel-machine that could bring back your now to me. And would have also made you stop sending this precarious postcard! Your postcard is my sentence that I once said to a person I loved let’s stop writing for some time. It was so easy to say these words in that moment and I did not realize that a return was irretrievable, irreparable. Silence, stillness - no way back. But since I nearly finished my avocado-cheesecake the melancholy that always hits me seems to go away and my thoughts wander to the glittering moments that we had in our cafe. The place you discovered in summer and where our nows were in total sync. And even though I promised not to speak about the past I wanna hold on to these moments. These moments of new beginnings. Do you remember?

Dear, now - on the subway - again moving towards a disaster. And again you are not here. I ride to break my soul even deeper. But yes, I remember our past. So recent but so far away. It was good to share a moment but how often can one be in sync? Today I didn't recognize my reflection in the glass of a backlit billboard. I walked towards myself, I looked at the moving image and I was unsure, even irritated why this person is walking straight ahead into me and not changing her path. But I also couldn't change mine. The stubborn steps almost hitting the screen just to realize that it was me.

Love - Today, I was spending the whole day at my dance class, trying to perform the right steps. Left, turn right, plié, bend your knees - in a monotone rhythm the trainer shouted the instructions and the whole group was carefully following, always a bit scared to do them wrong. One, two, three, four... our bodies moved simultaneously, we seemed to be in total conformity, a homogeneous mass. But when I started looking at the faces, I knew that we were all miles away with our thoughts, like in different universes, total strangers only connected through the form we create. The fox, we all had to wear our costumes, was secretly looking at the rabbit. Secretly, since it may have hoped that nobody would notice that it is still crazy in love. The bear had wet eyes, maybe sad that its moves are still not smooth enough so it has to dance in the last row? The cock was flirting with itself, perhaps considering how to change the hair next… Back in the locker I looked in the mirror at my all over painted face (not Pollock) and questioned myself if there is a deeper reason why I had to be the lamb? A lion - yes, tiger - okay, wolf - why not, but a lamb? What are they reading in my faces - the painted one and the one I was revealing layer by layer of greywhitish paint? Sweetness, naivety, a hint of helplessness? And what would be your costume? The hedgehog? The lynx? Would they notice the cracks? The desire of fulfillness and the wish to be seen as a whole?

My dear animal, the wildest lamb I know. Do you want to know my story. Do you want answers. I was always held for a wild cat, based on my body language I guess, but that body, that language is not a cat and not wild. Searching for an adequate animal I think they are all too good for me. How dare you compare yourself to nature I write down and hope you won't take it personally. This personal letters of non-personal experience traveling between the zoo and an other. Once caught in the cage of nature now opened with your remote control I am like a snake in the book I'm reading. Going back every time the door is open. P.S. Yesterday in the subway I saw a woman eating caviar with her finger, with her very long nail, directly from a jar. I was thinking about you, about us, about our last time together in Odessa. I was your wool and you were my wine.

Dear - in your worlds it sounded like I opened Pandora's box. But it was no evil I had in my mind. The costumes reminded me of the horoscope we discovered on our trip. We tried to find answers there and in particular ourselves. And we used the animal to find a solution even though we knew this path would be wrong. Seeing the dancing animals was like a flashback. All this writing makes me so confused since memory, the present and even the not yet lived future, get mixed up in my longing to get back to you. Do you know how much I once liked fairy tales? I was at this event, and it was the perfect situation for a perfect beginning. Awesome people, great music, margaritas were fantastic and bright sunshine. We had so much fun. All the people I knew left. He stayed. More and more drinking. We were getting closer and closer. I wanted to kiss. But he threw up. Too much drinking. We went home - separately. I never saw him again. Fairy tale crushed. Transmission error to reality. Only the witch appearing in your story and eating caviar with her nails came through.

My dear lamb, don't worry about me or Pandora, we are both fine. The sky is dark as I write this and the cactus I tried to rescue is dying. With a candle in my hand I am the happiest person ever in my box. All the moods I swing between belong to you, as the candle, as the hand, as the box. Come and visit me again, don't be too cruel. The path of empty leaves will bring you to me. Let me tell you a fairy tale of happy endings. My body wants to stretch, my body screams for more of you. Can I be your fairy tale? I can be your dark forest, your gingerbread house, your rabbit. It is all about you with a hidden message about me. I am in a grocery store and the song says: don't go wasting your emotion, lay all your love on me. P.S. Do you want to be my bio sausage salami stick because I think I want to be yours.

Dear, we need to hold on till the end of winter, but listen: tick-tack, tick-tack - time is already passing, slowly, but passing. And to surpass this time frame you can make everything out of me (even a piece of meat). Letters remain letters - and in there it is your desire I want to be. I saw this couple in a bus some days ago, they carried an enormous piece of wood, maybe a new table for their shared home? And even though this was such an ordinary moment it touched me and my eyes became wet. This everydayness that I am constantly searching for but that would also bore me to death. P.S. Sometimes I feel like I should keep running, but the more you run the less will be there to come back to.

Dear - your last letter got destroyed! Forever lost before I could even take a look! None of your words left! All gone! Irrecoverable! I heard a noise behind me - a hissing and hoovering sound. But I was so greedy swallowing your letter that I ignored everything around me and ripped it open. I could not wait to hear back from you and right at that moment an orange monster cleaning the streets gulped your words! These precious diamonds that became my heroin. And all I can do now is to wait until you send them again, knowing that they would have been changed but that is the burden I have to carry now.

My dear lamb, how happy I am to hear that the words were destroyed! I shouldn't say but I will confess that there were only hatred and disgust running through every letter of it. Imagine an "o" or an "a" or a "b", their bellies dark, darker than all the nights without you put together. Darling, isn't all destruction conceived by ourselves anyways? I've sent you a burning page. Now, now peace has arrived, but it is a shallow peace. My longing for you, my dreams of you are still sunk in the deep waters – I am not a good swimmer, how should I dive down to you? Are you still waiting for me? The smell of onions and cigarettes, a naked Christmas tree, the heavy air of expectations, too heavy to carry, this is what I can offer. I stand here at my first floor, which feels like a tower, with my binoculars, searching for a sign, for a light that comes from your boat or airplane or bicycle or lighter. Just come soon.

Dear hedgehog, I think I decided about your animal spirit after I read your recent letter. Sensitive inside, too sensitive, and if the outside is too dark, you curl up, no matter if that would imply hurting someone you love. You are aware of this, but you cannot do other, since that would mean losing yourself in the darkness. You have to protect yourself. If needed even with your prickles. I am glad now that I had no chance to read the destroyed letter. This time your mail got stopped. I also believe that we are creating the destruction ourselves - partly - as there is also the amount others put on us. Especially if you have difficulties dividing yourself from the others so that their emotions will unfiltered smash our souls. Sometimes even total strangers have this ability. So imagine the impact of your words! Your a to b would have had the power to destroy me. A power you might not knew about but know now. And I am doing it now, destroying myself, and the awareness of your curling up to me would be my end. Drama! I tried to find some peace in a recently discovered community, miles away from home. All was shiny and cosy at the beginning, but after some days I find myself alone in a hotel bar smoking way too much. I run again, and could not stand this happiness, it all felt hollow and empty and I had to leave. Too many happy people made me aware of what I am not. They noticed and could not stand me. The part that adds on to what I really am. So slowly, my way will bring me back to you, and I hope all my wounds will be healed again and for sure it will be way after I finished this glass of red wine.

You know me better than anyone else which is so scary. Dear now, the past few hours I was at the bottom of a volcano, fishing in the lava, I looked for your heart. Now at home again, the lonely sage, the lonely me, waiting for the world to call me back. Surrounded by sympathy that I don't deserve or maybe a little, but much too little to give something back. You throw yourself into experiences unneeded, I feel, you want more but what do you want? Isn't here enough? Am I not enough? I always give everything. But I know that the always happens much too seldom. Be patient. And since you know me so well, which I really do believe, I ask you, I beg you for understanding. P.S. I decided to start a singing career. My first lyrics: Darling, put some cosy clothes on… You want to move in with me and use my washing machine? I don't knowwwwwwwwwwwwww!!!

Throwing myself into new experiences, my dear, is exactly what I did yesterday, literally… so this morning I had to explain how this big hole came into the wall of my hotel room - and that it had nothing to do with the fact that I can hardly move my right hand, I stumbled... From proud and confident, I am turning into a pathetic wreck, bathing in self pity and lacking orientation. No memories of what happened last night. Stop me! Blackouts and black holes in black seas. Less talking, good stories. Maybe this could be an additional line in your song? Black coffee is dripping on your shorts and make you undress much faster than expected, much deeper than imagined… You have such a lovely voice, deep, warm, a bit smoky but not too much. When closing my eyes I can hear you humming a strapline. Your voice is already with me – you body will follow soon.

A room. All I want are empty shelves. Yellow walls pink air the morning is just amazing. Empty shelves in the dream world.

That will be slowly filled up with fantasies, fantasies of us and now. Add neon sticker stars on the ceiling! I have to go now. We have to stop. See you soon.