"Departed, having found paradise"
Text by Sanja Pahoki
I was told I could write about anything. My mind went blank. Why write anything?
Tori likes the sky, likes the ocean. I like the sky, a cloudy sky. I don’t like the ocean.
I am circling around the issue. The thing. The thing which maybe I need to write about, why I can’t write for Tori.
You see, I haven’t been feeling right for a while now. I said yes to the writing and yes again but maybe I should have said, ‘no.’ As I don’t feel right.
It’s hard to write when you are in the middle of it. I like to write, to make, when the thing is at the edges. I like the distance. It’s one of the reasons I like photography.
I am writing this now, to get back out to the edge, and then maybe I can write something else. Maybe then I can write for her.
Skywriting disappears. Tori’s work will disappear. I thought that this text would also disappear. A piece of paper in the gallery.
In some ways skywriting is like the opposite of photography. Sky-writing is durational. There is no permanent trace. Most of the time. you have to rely on your memory to make sense of the letters that are being written. That is, if you can wait around that long.
Why write in the sky? It is so expensive, fleeting and unpredictable. Maybe it is good that it costs so much to get done because if it was cheaper and easier then we might be bombarded by other people’s words. ‘Maree Marry Me’. She said no.
What else? What else Walter Benjamin? Walter Benjamin is my text. The lines in the sky. An interruption. I like to look at the sky when I am daydreaming. Walter Benjamin is taking me out of that reverie, that stupor. Benjamin says that technological reproduction brings things closer to us. The photograph in a wallet. The images in a mobile phone. The PDF. (I wish it was just on paper). Benjamin says, ‘Every day the urge grows stronger to get hold of an object at close range in an image [Bild], or, better, in a facsimile [Abbild],(1) a reproduction.’ To write in the sky seems to resist that desire. It is made to be viewed at a distance. A collective witnessing.
I asked Tori what she ended up writing in her video. She replied with,
‘is it all worth it?’
- Benjamin, “The Work of Art in the Age of Its Techological Reproducibility: Second Version,” in Selected Writings Volume 3: 1935-1938.
Departed, having found paradise
4.10.17 – 28.10.17