NOTES from UNDERGROUND: Escape Tactics
The correspondence of two housebound artists, one in Berlin (J), one in Los Angeles (R).
The ongoing, diverse forms of communication between two housebound artists, separated by an ocean and a continent, caught in an eerily similar (yet curiously almost opposite) plight: shut-in due to their responsibilities towards a dependent person. Like living on imploding stars: Their social contacts and interactions shrink, while the gravity and intensity of their daily situations increase.
Their charges on opposite ends of the age spectrum (1 vs 88) have in common a vivid sense of imagination and unusual/novel interpretations of the commonplace.
One is inexhaustible and playfully destructive in his boundless quest for entertainment and information; the other has withdrawn into herself and appears to have no energy at all. Both extremes are most demanding. Like Alice Through the Looking Glass, but where gender and relation are mirrored opposites: In Berlin, a single mother with her baby son; in LA, a single adult son (the ‘baby of the family’) with his aged mother
Rather than being commiserations, the messages from their two micro-worlds are manifestations of their struggles to avoid being buried alive by isolating responsibilities, and of their hopes for eventual escape. These communications involve words, photographs, sounds, videos, and drawings — as well as punctuations, signs, patterns, and ideas. Science fiction? Victorian children’s books? Dostoyevskian angst? Humdrum?…….All of the above and more.
The correspondence is a continual “Call-Respondence,” which has necessarily been separated in space and time. It is a constraint that has shaped their way of working.
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