‘Enka text improvisations’ 1999
while living in Japan (1998-1999) with a grant from the Fonds BKVB (now Mondriaan Fonds)
i was intrigued and swayed by the Japanese Enka songs, strange as the Dutch counterpart ‘levensliederen’ don’t do much for me…
while listening and video-taping them close up, I improvised texts (sometimes partially based on existing text works)

living in a bidonville of noise
swirling in an endless sad tune
floating turning twisting
softly softly whispering
all around
the tight cloth wrapped
all around you
all around you
twisting around me
looking at me
and in your eyes I exist
defined by these
tight borders
this translucence

looking at you,
my presence disguised
by appearances…
looking at you
in the soft soft air
that melts away any differences…
I don’t understand
how you can be
so far, so far away
please, look at me…
without your eyes I don’t exist
without your gaze my boundaries
and I float
in emptiness

it was an evening
so cold
that the membrane that’s containing me
refusing entry to all other signals
surrounding me
and then
while I was walking down the street
hardened like a capsule
your eyes
caught mine
penetrating my shield
and touching the substance inside
you know, you know
and you knew

and now,
so I’m opened
split open like a shell
your touch inside my soft entrails
going deeper and deeper
and discovering parts of mine
that I’d kept hidden for so long
drinking sake together
spilling out over the table
my heart my heart
and yours -
I thought
but then you went away
leaving me all exposed
like a dissected animal
on the table
looking at
my spilled insides

my invisible presence
it is snowing
and the earth is just as white
as I am
I dissolve
and every place I permeate
without a skin to contain me

  • I am looking for you -
    it sometimes happens
    that my existence has left this place
    where my heart is
    (for pain?)
    and is permeating the air
    look at me
    do you feel my presence?
    do you feel my eyes looking for you?
    bring me back to my own proportions
    fit me into my place

related works: ‘bidonville’ 1997 (text) / ‘confusion’ 1998 (animation) / ‘des/infect’ 2000 (animation) /'tangle' 2004 /