Henrik Olesen

Written for Henrik Olesen from Berlin. Split, I write too as a fly on the wall of this exhibition at dépendance, Brussels 2020.

There might be a way to reimagine how to find the words for this, an activity, or set of behaviours that would bend my thinking toward it, with which I could make contact through another mode of my thinking it. Could I, my mind, come closer if I would become it by mimicking it?

I look up … & I see a man. A very muscly man, large chest and dominant shoulders in a tight T-Shirt, a slightly older man with lightly greying hair is mopping the floor through the second story window of the Library opposite. At dusk.
It draws me to a moment I laid eyes upon many years ago. A handsome man sweeping the street just outside the very same library. His handling of the broom at that very moment resembled a dance, a very elegant dance! Under a midday sun.
At that time this man’s eloquent exercise brought me to the painting of a man dancing… was it with a broom? or was he holding a shovel?

My mind dances between them, these forms. But it stumbles too… on a restlessness, a stubborn feeling that resembles the mind’s skipping between the images of the men… present, absent & painted. This associative chain is not distraction exactly; distracting me from my task of writing, it’s rather that thinking this writing has probably pushed the associative impulse onto the scene in front of me… the scene stretched, folding into a recalled painting.

Another string of thoughts intervenes, this time written & read:

A Bull being slain showering blood on a gathering of devotees, its death cries ringing out. The Bull made an image of the Sun by a determined collective thinking. A Coq’s cry to Sun calling upon the voice of a dying Bull.
A Rotten Sun.

These are energetic migrations and manipulations. They push at the forms I’ve taken up & isolated, they stretch them into other shapes, maybe even scratch at their surfaces so as to echo something I cannot & possibly do not want to name.

I attempt to focus on the processes I’ve chosen to enlist, & call Foucault’s ghost:

“Clear a space around the self and do not let yourself be carried away and distracted by all the sounds, faces, and people around you. (…) All your attention should be concentrated on this trajectory from self to self. Presence of self to self, precisely on account of the distance still remaining between self and self (…)”

These selves too then become forms, forms to be folded, stretched or scratched at. I circle around the self & itself. Perceiving them sometimes in profile they now occupy a central focal point upon which my mind’s eye can begin to work.

By reducing my field of vision, compressing it or folding it inward toward a basic shape(lessness) of the/a/multiple(rather than repetitive) restless centre, I approach something simultaneously larger, the offer of a transformative moment!

I am plastic

This is plastic

You are plastic

We are plastic!

Hey Plasticity!

Gerry Bibby