RWS Jour 61

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It is a Thursday afternoon in mid August, and I return to the sculpture with excitement and apprehension. As I exit the train station, I stare at the overwhelming presence of the sculpture that dominates the immediate skyline. I had almost forgotten the magnitude of its scale, and stand still amidst the swarm of bodies in transit, inhaling in the immensity. I am snapped out of my half reverie by the ever-recognizable voice of Bridel on the megaphone, and we exchange a rejoicing hello. It feels good to be back.

I have just come back to Switzerland after a little over a month in Los Angeles, and have had difficulty following the project. The communication amongst the collective has dwindled to almost an inaudible whisper, and I do not have any clue as to what has transpired the past few weeks. The cahier de bord neither on the site nor in our Whatsapp group gives me any clues, as it’s a few weeks since the last update. The last thing I know of was that the collective members met to speak with Thomas on site to discuss some of the thoughts regarding our engagement, and we had a Skype meeting after to recapitulate. Based on this, there has been a change in our presence, and now we have one person on site at a time, and Lore has taken a leave of absence. I understand the challenges of the project - the intensity of the climate of sculpture is a lot to endure, and of the daily task of updating the cahier de bord on top of it all can prove to feel impossible some days. Time moves so fast here, yet days also feel like an eternity. There is an indescribable warping of time that I have felt since the beginning of our engagement here. Above all, the days are dense; saturated with unexpected exchanges, surprising fits of laughter, cacophonous screams, moments of tenderness, constant interruptions, and what feels like a million different languages.

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There has been some tension between Malik and Thomas today, and in the early evening they are in the forum having a public conversation. Thomas talks about the sculpture as being a site for experiencing moments of grace, and I reflect upon what this means for him, what it means for the others involved, and what it means for myself. What constitutes a moment of grace? Is an experience predicated by chance? Is it one of these unexpected exchanges? How can one imbue grace in a moment, or is it something only chance can give? I am not sure, but I do think the answer lays somewhere embedded in here. And so, I choose to let that question percolate over the next few days.

Collectif Dandelion