My Personal Rhapsody / The Dead Do Not See Those Living
My Personal Rhapsody is an intimate voyage to different galaxies representing lives of people who dared to step beyond their personal boundaries. By hearing their stories I do not aim to engage in a formal interview. What I look for is a free exchange between two people without pre-prepared questions. Listening to people’s stories and feeling them inspires me to rewrite their story in a magical, surrealist manner. I believe that each talk or discussion with another person is a two way communication, even if one of the persons chooses to remain silent. The reader is invited to see the story as a totality – energy shared by people exchanging words, motion, touch, breath, heartbeat.
28 February, 2019
illustrations by GODA PELE
The cameraman points his camera to the rusty metal door of a loft. A few name tags indicate artists names. He turns around to film the surroundings. No one is around, a few trash cans are left here and there. He turns back and uses the tips of his fingers to open the squeaky door. It’s dark inside, so the cameraman turns on his camera light. One can see pieces of metal and wood lying around as if a woodcraft workshop would have just finished. Imaginary sounds of cutting and shaping wood play in his ears. He shakes his head and moves on with a camera towards another room where he sees the lights on. A small young fair-hair woman sculpts a terra-cotta sculpture. Her moves are dramatic, she grabs a metal knife quickly and shapes hands and legs, polishes hair of the sculpture. She adds a fantasy-looking creature next to a sculpture, claps of joyful success and sips some of Bordeaux wine leaving a wine glass stained with her terra cotta fingerprints. Time rushes as if life equals infinity. The woman turns to the cameraman, comes so close to him with a knife almost reaching his chest. Having forgotten something, she scratches her head and turns around. “It’s odd that she didn’t notice me”, thought the cameraman. The woman quickly grabs another half-finished sculpture, destroys its head and adds an animal-like head and angel wings. The creature’s skin is wrinkled, nails as sharp as knives. It sits so peacefully on dark angel’s knees and yet pierces with his look through the camera making the cameraman step back.
Suddenly, the cameraman heard an oboe sound in another room upstairs. With great prudence to make no sound he silently walked up the stairs to see a girl’s silhouette being shaped and reshaped by the candlelight. Walking up to the room, he smelt wet wooden floor covered by mold, old clothes, and dust. All his senses became so rich that he was able to make a distinction between them in the room. The smell became even stronger as he approached the playing girl. The sound of oboe reached the cameraman’s heart. It seemed the instrument conveyed a hidden message, words, lyrics, his destiny, through the language he couldn’t grasp. He turned the camera to the girl’s face. Her eyes were shut, shadows ran slowly through her face like tears, her long hair did not see brushing, her nails were full of dirt. She looked so pale and yet so mysteriously alive by playing the oboe as if she’d been taught from the age of 2. The cameraman realized that time passed by slower in this room as if the girl wished him to stay. And, all of the sudden, the girl stopped playing. She threw the oboe to the cameraman and partially broke the camera lens. Crying, she ran directly to the man, turned a sculpture with bloody eyes to the man, kissed the sculpture and disappeared.
It started snowing beautifully outside. The cameraman ran quickly to the window to film the scene. He looked through the window and could not believe his eyes. Again, he felt as if time would rush so quickly, an event would pass so fast that he found it difficult to focus and comprehend the presence. In the quart yard of the loft, sculptures of stone and bronze that were once put to sleep for eternity, regained their lives. Sculptures dancing beautifully in snow looked like dead angels guarded by their master – the sculptor. The unbearable sound followed sculptures as if they were screaming of pain and suffering. As the cameraman ran towards the quart yard, he saw terra cotta fingerprints and dirt everywhere: hand stains on a worn-out sofa, table, windows, shoes, even on his camera. The sculptures were dancing around the hole in the ground. The cameraman sneaked in through the dancing sculptures and saw marble stairs in the hole, which led to unknown corridors under the loft and its quart yard. He quickly slid down the marble stairs and turned on his camera light. The smell of medication in the underground corridor was so strong he could barely breathe. The doors, which led to different rooms in the corridor where opening and closing by themselves. The cameraman started filming the supranatural event as he went through one of those doors. Once he entered a room, he saw a nurse with a bloody apron trying to climb the wall and reach the cross. Just next to her another nurse was fixing her hair, and suddenly, she started running directly to the wall and crashed into it. “This house is full of cursed madness”, thought the cameraman, and rushed towards the exit just to find the door locked.
He saw the second door, which led to the next room and the next room. So he wandered through the rooms seeing people undressing and touching each other, animals feasting on human blood next to the hanged, women giving birth to dead children, men and women raving to techno music and laughing like mad, people playing theatre, participating in a ball.. At all times the cameraman went unnoticed and untouched. He knew that he does not belong to this world and yet there is an intermittent connection between the two worlds, which allows him to document each scene. Wandering around rooms he knew that this loft and its undergrounds have so much more to show and tell, and he craved for this experience. He wished to talk to each and everyone in the house to know their story, to document it, to learn from their joys and sufferings, to relive their passions and disappointments. He walked and walked until he saw a vintage table with a beautifully decorated golden sword and a bowl next to it. Up on the wall, the cameraman saw a sign “The dead do not see those living. The living shall not see the dead”. He realized that he will not be able to understand this world without being part of it. Suddenly, the sculptor, the girl with an oboe, devil-like mystic animals, women and men started to gather into the room, as if they sensed of the presence of a new member.