Oslo National Academy of the Arts / Fine Art
Norwegian Artistic Research Programm
Examples from transcribed conversations conversations room 3, Competence
Hello, please have a seat.
Yeah, I’m sitting.
Hello, how are you doing?
I’m doing fine, what about you?
So I’m looking at this… hmm… this hand that you were drawing, it seems to me as if you were shaking hands with someone. Who are you shaking hands with?
Good people… could you imagine someone good with whom you’re shaking…
There’s so many of those, sure, I’m imagining.
Who is it?
Well now… just today I met a former colleague so I shook his hand. But with my right hand, not the left one, the one I drew, and we had a nice chat for about ten minutes.
What was the moment of shaking his hand like?
What kind of a feeling did you have in your hand, what did you feel?
Friendship… how long did the handshake last?
I’m guessing… about three seconds.
Can you still recall the moment when you were shaking hands with him?
Yeah, the sun was shining outside, I was glad to see him. Good mood.
And can you imagine the place where this happened?
This I know exactly, I was at Chodov, that part of the town with a lot of administration.
So just imagine that place where you are.
Yes, I’m imagining.
So you’re there and imagine that you’re shaking his hand and suddenly you hear a sound right behind you. What could it be?
Well I heard some birds flying around.
Hmm, so try to go back to that moment and try to go have a look at the birds.
How many are there?
Hmm. About four.
Four… can you describe them to me?
I don’t know anything about birds but…
Well what do you see?
Medium size, about fifteen centimeters, maybe twenty. They’re spreading wings, flying around.
What colour are they?
Kind of grey-white.
Hmm… and do they make any other sounds?
Well sometimes they peep or something, I don’t know…
Hmm, hmm. All right, so now if you turn around, in this moment and place…
… and you start walking down the street, imagine that you’re going somewhere now…
… imagine that you go on and on. You’re meeting all kinds of people.
… over there someone is walking a dog, on the other side, a man is walking a dog, but you don’t really notice him and continue further down the street, on and on…
Yes, I’m imagining. Except I still see and hear those birds.
You see, behind you, you can hear a car, it drives past you and continues, and then stops. And you go closer to the car, and someone is getting out of the car. Can you see who it is?
Well… it’s a stranger.
Is he wearing a suit?
He is, yeah.
OK and what colour is the suit?
Well… some kind of blue-black.
Blue-black… is the person wearing a tie?
How about you try to speak to him?
Well I can. Hello, how are you?
How is he reacting?
He stands still and looks at me, thinks about it a little and also says hello… and then he goes away.
He goes away… all right, now where would you go?
Well he goes to one of those administrative buildings, and I continue straight ahead to an underground station.
Hmm, and what’s going on, what do you see?
Again a lot of people… and some birds flying around, again.
And if you take a deep breath, can you smell anything? What can you smell?
Spring in the air.
Hmm, hmm… and maybe also someone’s phone is ringing on that street.
A text message came.
All right, so I think that you can continue to the next part of the exhibition, a text message called you.
Where is it?
You’ll go this way, I’ll let you in.
How did the drawing of the hand go?
Quite easy. Good.
It seems to me that the hand is holding something. What could it be?
Itself, I think.
Excuse me? Is it in front of you?
Underneath, all right.
I think it holds nothing but itself.
And if the hand wanted to hold something, what could that be? … if it suddenly opened and something fell out.
It could be a small stone, I think.
A small stone… how does it look like?
Like a nut.
Mhm, can you pick it up? And have a look at it?
… have a good look at it. What colour is it?
Hmm. Can you feel it? Try if it there’s any structure?
It has a nut-like structure.
Mhm, hmm… So it is ridged…
Maybe it is a nut.
Maybe it is a nut… well… if you now took this nut or stone… and tried to throw it somewhere… Try it, see where it lands… Imagine it.
It’s really hard to throw with my left hand.
Hmm… then put it in your right hand.
So I threw it away now.
Where is it now? Can you go there where you threw it?
I can’t… I think it’s where you are.
I see, I see. So imagine that you’re coming here. Just imagine it. That thing there can be moved and theoretically you could pass over here. So imagine that you’re coming here.
What is here?
I think there is a chair just like mine and maybe also you and the stone.
Mhm, mhm. So try to imagine me, how do I look like?
Mhm… what is my hair like?
Mhm… dark. Like the nut, the stone.
Am I short or tall?
I think you’re as tall as I am which is about a hundred and eighty centimeters. Or a hundred and ninety.
Mhm, good. So imagine that you’re here, where I am right now. Imagine… try to imagine that suddenly you hear terrible shrieks from the next room… Imagine running there and being there. What’s happening in the room?
It’s a fight.
Who is… who are they?
Two members of the pigeon squadron.
The pigeon squadron? What is that?
The pigeon squadron… an informal organisation… with unclear rules… they go to vernissages, and from time to time they also fight there.
I see, good. So the two members are fighting and what are you doing? What are you going to do with it?
I’m going away. Leaving.
Are you disgusted?
No no no, I’m just scared I’d have to participate.
You’re scared you’d have to participate… and you’re coming back here or leaving the exhibition completely?
I’m leaving the exhibition completely.
All right. And where do you go next? You’re leaving the exhibition. Where do you go now?
I’m going down the road, that’s more natural… and home. Probably home.
You’re going home, so imagine that you’re going home, down the road… Probably… Imagine seeing a tram, like now, in Vodičkova street. And an elderly man gets out of the tram… He walks with a cane… and you have this feeling that you probably know him from somewhere, or something… so you decide to approach him… try to say something to him.
Can I ask additional questions? How well do I know him?
You just have this vague feeling that you’ve already seen him somewhere, that you probably know him. And you have this feeling that you need to tell him something.
Well right now I don’t really feel the need to say anything to him. Given the circumstances, I’m likely to avoid him. That is if I only recognize him.
Mhm, okay. Then avoid him. And now, if you take a deep breath, how does… what’s the air like now, in this street?
Mhm… uninviting like Prague.
Air uninviting like Prague… what else can you see in that street when you look around?
Well… I think I see a lot of mundane information, unfamiliar faces and cars.
Does anything catch your attention? Is there anything?
I think I’m already home in my mind.
Are you looking forward to be home?
Okay, so I will let you into the next room so that you can get there sooner.
(child’s sounds)… oh, there’s more of us here now.
Well we are two here.
You’re two. Hmm. How did it go, drawing those hands?
Good. It’s been fifteen years since I last drew.
Hmm. Here I can see, the middle finger of yours, it’s kind of like half-broken and it seems to me that it’s pointing somewhere. Where?
It’s pointing… it isn’t.
Where would it point to. It was lying there relaxed, and the finger just kind of stretched out.
It was resting.
Well, and if it was pointing somewhere, what could it be pointing at?
I don’t know… at Honza Šerých, who was drawing right next to me.
Can you imagine Honza?
How he looks like?
Could you try to describe him for me?
A tall man in his forties, slightly greying short hair. Quite a striking face with wrinkles, or more like with pronounced facial muscles. And big eyes… distinct ears. Something like that.
Is he tall or short?
Tall. So try to imagine that you go with him into the street, that you’re leaving the exhibition with Honza. And that you’re going down the street and you go to Vodičkova street… and then you continue towards the Wenceslas Square for some reason.
What do you see in the street?
Well plenty of people walking, tall buildings. We’re looking for a pub.
Look for the pub then, try to find one. Where do you want to go?
Well, that sucks. Actually we’re going from a pub because all of them are here. After that we go to Lucerna, and then from the pub we’ll go catch a tram.
Catch a tram, I see. What do you hear in the street?
Trams… anything else?
Honza Šerých. He’s saying something maybe… or I’m saying something so I hear myself.
What is he saying? What’s he saying to you?
Don’t know… he actually doesn’t speak so much.
He doesn’t speak.
I guess then I’m the one talking.
And what are you saying?
Well I don’t know. I guess I talk about some exhibition… Maybe. About an exhibition in the Fotograf Gallery.
Mhm. And what are you saying?
Well I don’t know… what I am saying.
All right. Well imagine that you’re with him in this street and suddenly someone taps you on your back. You slowly turn around… Who is it? Who was tapping you on your back?
Mhm and where do you know him from?
Don’t know, from school.
Well he tapped you on your back, do you know who this person is?
You don’t know? And what do you do when an unknown person taps you on your back?
Well he starts saying something… and that clarifies who he is and where is he from.
And who is he and where is he from?
Well I don’t know that, because…
I see, I see.
Okay so I think it’s Michal Oberle from Školská.
I see and what does he want from you?
What does he want from me… no idea. He wants the backs that hang over there. Cow’s backs.
Backs pinned with entomological pins.
I think you can continue to the next room to check out if the cow’s backs are in there somewhere.
How did it go with the drawing?
Normal… are you used to drawing?
You’re wearing a watch.
Ehm… I suppose.
Mhm. How is the hand you were drawing?
Well… I’d say… it is overworked today.
Did you have a long day?
Ehm… yes, basically.
So try to imagine that instead of where you were today, you were at a tropical island. Do you like this idea?
Ehm… not really.
And if you could choose any place on Earth where you could be right now, what would it be like? If we finally were able to teleport ourselves.
… that’s a tough question.
Well maybe it could actually be some island.
Mhm. Imagine it, the island. Try to exactly imagine that place.
The other day I saw a place like that… in the channel between Lefkada and the Greek mainland, that could be interesting.
Good. So image that you’re in that place now. How does it look like?
I’m not sure if I can describe this.
Well… I would be glad if you tried.
I don’t know if I’m competent enough.
Mhm. That competence is called imagination.
Can I express it in rivbors?
Unfortunately I do not understand that.
Well… there you go.
Well that’s a bummer… But try imagining being in the nature, or in a hotel, or in the street… or right there where you are… on that island?
There’s nothing on the island. That’s the advantage of it, there’s nothing.
And if you look down, what is on the ground, what’s it like?
Rocky… imagine that rocky ground. Try to lower down and touch the stones. What are they like? Smooth or angular, or… try to take one of the stones in your hand.
Mhm… a bit like a sett.
Mhm, mhm, so they’re quite large and heavy.
And if you look up instead of down, what’s the sky like?
Standard… try being a bit more specific.
Well, it’s standard Prussian blue.
Pure Prussian blue, the whole sky? No clouds?
Standard… and if you take a breath, what’s the air like on this island?
Slightly sour… over oxygenated.
Try to draw it into your lungs.
… well, it’s quite standard.
Standard… Is it hard to entertain you?
No, this is enormously entertaining.
Not for you?
It is entertaining, it is.
There you go.
But my task isn’t to entertain us.
Well we all have some sort of a task.
If you were born again, what would your task be?
I’m afraid it would be the same.
And what is that?
These days… writing the history of the National Museum.
It’s a silly task.
Not really. Do you think that it makes any sense to have a National Museum?
I don’t know much about it.
Would you mind sitting down?
Well I’d prefer to stand if I can.
Oh… you’ve got an infant with you, I see. Mhm, all right, you can stand.
How did it go with the drawing?
Well I’d probably try harder if I were alone.
What’s your hand like, the one you were drawing?
Ehm… that’s my right hand. What do you mean, what’s it like?
What’s it like?
As is, what does it look like, or…?
What does it look like?
Well my fingers are long… and my hand is thin.
Mhm. How does it feel to touch it?
Well I don’t know… quite pleasant maybe.
Mhm. It’s quite… open. As if you… almost as if you were shaking someone’s hand… Imagine you’re in a room and you decide to shake the hand of a person in front of you. Who is it?
Well try imagining that situation, you’re in some room, maybe like this, and there is a person and you’re shaking their hand. What does this person look like?
It’s a woman, slightly shorter and older, quite elegant and has a pleasant hand.
Mhm… how does it feel?
Warm… do you want to say anything to this woman?
Is she saying anything to you?
So you shake her hand, you feel the pleasant warm touch… and what happens next?
… so, we’re looking at each other, holding hands and we say nothing.
Are you looking her in the eye?
Can you take it for a long time… or how long does this contact last?
Well it is someone I know so it’s not as unpleasant as it would be with a stranger.
I see, and will you tell me who it is?
What goes on in your mind when you look her in the eye?
Hmm, her life, I think.
Mhm, what exactly in her life are you thinking about?
I didn’t hear you.
What is it in her life that you’re thinking about?
Just in general… maybe also about my childhood… or I’m trying to look at things from her perspective.
Imagine then, that you’re a child again. Try to imagine that you are a child and imagine something beautiful, something that would fill you, as a child, with absolute joy. Something that never happened but would’ve been truly beautiful. Try then, slowly try to imagine such a situation, or such a place, or an experience and try to describe it to me… Anything that comes to your mind… Whenever it comes.
Mhm. Maybe try imagining some place that you had wanted to visit or see as a child. Was there ever anything like this?
I can recall just places I’ve been to, like… places I went to when I was happy.
Okay so imagine those places where you were happy, and imagine that you’re there now as an adult.
Yeah. I’m imagining.
Mhm. Where is it?
So it’s by the sea… kind of like a village by the sea but not directly next to the sea… a stone village.
Then go for a walk in this village. Go into the streets there, turn left for example and then, you want to go around the corner because you hear loud noises there… you go there, what do you see? What’s making all that noise?
That’s my child.
So is the child with you there?
Yeah, I guess.
That’s probably hard to not be with the child, right. Is it hard to focus, when the child’s crying?
A little bit.
Well great. How did it go with the drawing?
Uncomfortable. A little uncomfortable.
Why was that?
A hard pencil… and my coat is stiff.
Mhm, mhm. And what’s the hand like?
The real one?
The one you were drawing.
Hmm… it’s not very nice.
Slightly bitten nails. It’s totally ordinary, I’d say. No long fingers.
Mhm. Almost as if it was saying Stop.
As if it was saying Stop… seems to me.
Hmm, hmm, hmm… maybe.
What could it be saying it to?
What could it be saying it to?
Mhm… or whom to?
Whom could it be saying Stop to? Me? But I don’t think it’s saying Stop.
And what do you think the hand says?
Well when I was drawing it, it wasn’t saying anything. It’s the left one, see, I draw with my right one.
The left one doesn’t talk?
The right one is the chatty one.
So what would the right one say?
What would the right one say, like now or when it was drawing?
Now? … that it would prefer to draw with charcoal.
Imagine the charcoal then. Imagine that it’s right next to this chair, next to you… take it in your hand… What is it like?
Good, good. I know it. I know the feeling.
Mhm. Does it stain your palms?
If it… what did you say?
Does it stain your palms?
Mhm… try to smear it over… imagine you smear it all over your hands, like… you smudge it onto your palms.
… and you look into the palms…
… can you see an image there? Like, can you see anything in it? How do the scribbles look?
Hmm… I cannot imagine that right now.
Hmm, I can’t imagine how it would look if I crumbled in my hand… like crum… cru… eh, eh, like I can imagine just those black fingers, but crumbling the charcoal in my hands, I never thought about that. It’s a nice image, but not, no… No.
If you imagine now, that you wash your hands and leave this exhibition and you go to Vodičkova street… and you go along the tram towards the Wenceslas Square… and someone taps you on your back suddenly… You’re startled for a bit and you turn around… you see this person’s face… Who is it?
A former student of mine.
So you shake his hand… he squeezes yours.
First I’d be unsure if mine isn’t still a bit dirty.
If I can shake his hand… and then… First I’d quickly check it, before I shake his hand.
Mhm. You check your hand… you shake his… Do you recognize this person, this student? Do you know who it is?
Yeah, I do, I do.
What would you say?
I’d ask, like… how is he doing, classic.
So maybe he smiles a little and starts replying to your question. What is he saying?
What is he saying?
… what, sure so… that everything is all right. That he’s in Prague now, visiting someone.
That now he lives somewhere else.
Mhm. Would you like to go for a beer with him?
Eeerrm, no… this is just a quick encounter. I’m glad to have seen him.
So you just exchange courtesies… and then go your own way.
To the underground.
Underground… All right so you go to the station, down the stairs… a group of people goes towards you… You arrive at the platform and you’re waiting… what do you notice at the station then? What do you see?
Well people, people. I notice the people. I look at them.
Mhm. And how do they look like, these people right now at this very station?
They look a bit worn after working all day.
Mhm. Anyone you would like to talk to?
Err… well… maybe… that’d have to be a nice girl maybe…
Try imagining then that a train is approaching… the train is coming… the door opens… you enter the car, you look to the right and into the next car… nothing. You look to the left and at the end of the car, a woman sits there, facing you. Long blonde curly hair. She’s wearing black high boots, a skirt slightly below her knees. Also black. And a black jacket. And she also has dark, bewitching eyes that don’t really go well with her blond hair.
… blond hair…
It’s a fascinating sight. Would you be courageous enough to go to her?
Well try it now. Go to her. Go ask her… go ask what made her happy today.
What made her happy today…
Ask her. Go there.
Young lady, I have a special question for you…
… did anything make you happy today?
What do you think she does now? What did she do?
She smiles a bit, lowers her eyes and is unsure how to react probably.
What’s going on with you?
She’s surprised, caught off-guard. Me… I don’t know how to get out of this, how to save… out… because I’m not sure that she’s the one I wanted to talk to. I feel manipulated now… I feel manipulated now… and that ruined it.
It’s better to be manipulated than dumb.
I’ll sit down here.
How did it go with the drawing?
Well normal… I don’t really know how to draw so it an amateur’s drawing.
How does the hand look like, the one you drew?
What it looks like? In reality or in that picture?
Hmm, on the picture then.
It looks like an outline… like a symbol of a hand. Just an outline, really.
It’s not very well drawn, basically… not really three-dimensional.
Mhm, mhm. So imagine, try to imagine that the hand from this picture is becoming more and more three-dimensional. It practically comes out of the paper, slowly, and becomes an actual, real three-dimensional hand.
Yeah, I can imagine this quite well.
Great… and now it’s as if the hand was looking at you suddenly… how does that make you feel?
How does it make me feel? Normally I’m looking at my hand… and I’m thinking, if it was looking at me then…
… yeah so I’m imagining it then. Well I guess it sees me…
Mhm. Are you scared?
Not really scared.
Are you curious?
If I imagine that I’m the hand… yeah, curious, curious. What does it see, really…
So you want to imagine that you are the hand? Okay. So you’re in a room. And you slowly crawl like the hand on the ground. And you open the door. The door leads out of the room, to some kind of a space… and now I mean into the nature, or any kind of open space outdoors. Imagine that space. What does it look like?
Well I think… this is a bit too surreal, like when the hand is connected to the body, that seems to me… but when it’s disconnected from the body, it’s a bit like… the hand is like…
… it’s a bit of a speculation, well… but all right, I’m imagining…
So imagine just the space, we can leave the hand out of it now…
A bit of Švankmajer, it seems to me…
Yeah I also thought about it…
So imagine only that you opened the door then. You opened the door of this room, of some room, and it’s outdoors. How does it look like, what is it?
What does it look like?
Mhm, where are you actually?
I’m imagining quite a banal space, a greenfield of some kind.
Mhm. What is there?
Hm, ideally almost nothing.
Mhm. It is a greenfield. What kind of green is it?
Rich green, like in the spring.
Are there any trees somewhere far, or just the greenfield?
Not really. In the first moment I thought it would be beautiful if there was nothing. If it was only like, like a really abandoned space, maybe a little hilly here and there.
Mhm. So try to imagine that you’re there now and you take off your shoes, your socks and you go across the greenfield, on the grass… Can you feel the grass touching your feet?
Ehm. Ok, I’ll imagine that, yes…
Is the grass warm or cold?
I’d say it’s cold. Not very cold, but…
Chilly. And is it damp or dry?
I’d say it is damp, kind of dewy.
Mhm. And is it a sharp feeling, or is the grass very soft?
It’s not quite soft.
Not quite… I see.
Moderately hard, like, here and there it can feel a bit sharp but not too much. Moderately.
So imagine that you’re walking on this grass. You walk for a while, and suddenly a path starts to appear in the grass… It’s quite like, it’s a slightly harder path, not really this soft grass anymore… but you go on… It zigzags sometimes, and sometimes it’s straight. Where might it lead?
Hmm, that I don’t know. Hard to say, really. But probably towards the horizon.
To the horizon? Good. So…
To the West.
To the West.
Towards the horizon, where the Sun is setting.
Mhm, so imagine going to the last hill after which there’s the horizon… I’d say, it might be around five o’clock in the spring, so you can still see around quite well. And you just… the Sun is slowly setting but it’s not a real sunset yet. And you look down from the hill. What do you see?
Some valley, forests and a river must be there.
Try to imagine them.
Yeah, I’m imagining them now.
So what do you see?
I see these broadleaved trees, coniferous trees, they all lead into the valley and the river flows there, but you can’t see the river very well, because there’s a lot of trees around, so…
Do you want to go see the river?
Is it tempting?
That is tempting.
So go to the river.
Ok, I’m going down.
You’re approaching the river bank… do you want to go for a swim?
Hmm, not really, no… maybe just immerse my legs. Knee deep.
So immerse your legs, knee deep. Try it, what is it like?
Hmm, it’s pleasant.
What do you feel?
Cold water flowing, pebbles under the feet.
What are you thinking about in that moment?
I don’t know if I’d be thinking then. I wouldn’t be thinking about anything, I think. Like, a man just perceives the nature and doesn’t really think about anything.
Take a really deep breath… in that nature… what is it like?
Hmm, it’s pleasant. Flowing water is always pleasant, like when it takes things away, with it. So this kind of a fresh feeling… It’s refreshing.
Mhm. So let the water refresh you for a while longer so that you have enough energy to continue into the next room.
Are you seated comfortably?
And how did it go with the drawing?
What is your hand like? The one you drew?
What does that mean?
It’s a quick sketch.
A sketch… it seems to me the hand wants to grab something. What might it want to grab?
Well, I’m mostly just used to drawing hands like this, from practise.
I see, however if the hand wanted to grab something, what could it grab now?
I mean the hand from the picture, if you imagine it.
Mhm. And it’s a cup of tea or what does it look like?
It’s a polka dot cup.
Mhm. And what color are they?
And the cup?
Mhm, mhm. And are there…. How many polka dots are there?
You counted that so fast?
… it’s a picture.
A picture, right. You’ve got it under control.
Great. So take the tea and bring it closer to your nose.
What does it smell like?
Like a strawberry.
Strawberry. Would you like some?
Try to drink a bit.
What’s the taste?
A hot strawberry tea.
A hot strawberry tea. Mhm, if you could describe it with a metaphor, what would that be? How does it taste?
Strawberry leaves… that’s not really a metaphor…
Yeah, well that is quite precise.
Like a forest.
Like a forest?
What kind of a forest?
A coniferous forest.
Mhm. And can you imagine it?
Mhm, good. So you’re in the forest now.
Can I be there with you?
So imagine that we’re in the forest together and we follow a path. And suddenly I start running and I run in front of you, just somewhere.
Do you run after me?
So what do you do?
I shout: Where are you running?
I don’t react, I just run further.
And what do you do next, in the forest?
I guess I’ll slowly shuffle in your direction.
Mhm, and what do you see?
A small clearing with moss, mushrooms and strawberries.
Mhm. And do you want to go towards it?
Do it then.
So I’m going now, and I also have a small child with me.
Do you want to pick some strawberries?
Yeah, or build little houses.
So you can start building the little houses then.
For goblins? So tell me how do you build them.
Well, so you collect some twigs and leaves and moss, and you build a little house right next to a tree. And the goblins live inside. You make them with cones.
How do they look like?
Like the cones.
Like the cones?
They come afterwards, when you’re gone.
Those forest goblins, they’re mysterious, like.
All right, I see… Tell me more about them, what do they look like. Describe them to me, so that I can also imagine them.
Well so they’re quite small and have long beards… which they drag behind. And they’re scared of humans. And they leave treasures for children.
Mhm, so they’re nice goblins.
They dig chocolate money into the ground… And you ran away.
Or you come back after and join as well.
Okay so I come to check out the little houses. So I’m coming. And now I’m there. Can you show me one of the little houses?
Well, they’re over there, by the tree stump.
Mhm, I see it now.
You also have to build one.
Okay, well, then I pick up some twigs, I have them in my hand and I take them to the tree stump. And there’s also a small clearing. I’ll take a bit of the green moss which, on the bottom, is black, rich black. I take it into my hand, and I smell it, that… black thing, how it smells of the nature, the life.
Of mushroom as well?
Well, like the mycelium.
Yeah. I almost forgot. That’s a nice smell. So I put it next to the twigs. But I don’t know how to build a little house, you’ll have to show me.
So you take twigs, four, and you stick them into the moss. And one side is the tree stump. And you put some bark on top, hmm…
… and on top of that you put some moss and grass. And then out of some cones you can make a little garden, or a table… whatever one wants…
So they’re not all made the same way…. Very well.
Did you already take a seat?
Try it then. Do you have a backpack with you?
I’m a psychic. Well… so how did the drawing go?
It was demanding.
Mhm. What does that mean?
That it’s been a long time since I last drew. Seven years.
Which hand were you drawing?
The left one.
Mhm. And from which side?
And did you draw the whole arm or just the hand?
Just the hand, just the hand.
From the wrist.
What is the drawing like?
Try to describe it a little.
Well it’s a bit like, almost… Should I describe the actual hand?
Mhm. The drawing.
Well it’s more about the shape of the hand than the drawing. The drawing can be described as lines. According to how the hand is shaped on the drawing.
There’s a bump next to the little finger. And on the fingers there are bobbles. And the hand itself is more striking than the drawing.
Mhm. Ehm, and this hand, could it be pointing somewhere?
It shouldn’t be.
It shouldn’t be. Very well. So try imagining the drawing once more… of this hand. And imagine that the hand is slowly becoming three-dimensional. As if it began to materialize.
Are you capable of imagining this?
Mhm. Great. So now imagine that the hand simply has it’s own life, it suddenly leaves the paper and opens the door of some room. The door leads somewhere outside. And the hand opens the door and you can see out of the room, into an open space. What do you see there?
More hands. That was the first thing that crossed my mind.
And are they there?
Yeah, they are.
The hands are there.
And what is it like? Are they flying around in the air, crawling on the floor… or what are they doing?
Well I imagined this kind of a scenery, like a rock landscape, and the hands are lying and sitting around… and…
And are they chatting?
No, no, they’re not chatting.
Describe the rock landscape a bit more then.
Well not really a rock landscape… more like a simple architecture. Or some shapes which just… kind of a terrace.
A slightly ascending terrace, and those hands are like, some are lying flat, some stand on the fingers maybe. Some of them lie on their side. And other ones are there just like that.
There’s a lot of them there. A lot. And it’s a bit like, kind of… like a bent theatre of ancient Greece. It’s bent, as in it fills the whole perspective of the human who looks out of the door.
Try to go among the hands. How do they react to you?
How do the hands react to me? Well… Indifferent.
Indifferent? Like, they don’t really notice you?
They don’t. They might roll over but that’s it. Only maybe one or two of them crawl towards me. They move towards me. Perhaps they touch my leg to find out what it is. Because that’s the only sense the hands possess.
I see. And you and them…
That’s why they weren’t able to chat.
I understand. So… try to initiate a contact with them somehow.
A contact with a hand… I could extend my hand.
Hmm, try it.
I will, I’ll shake their hand. Those hands… Whether I can shake a hand with them that I don’t know. Because they are those drawn hands. But they are already materialized actually. And so I can shake hands with a materialized drawing.
Yeah, I think you can. Try it.
I will try.
Try it. So you’re extending your hand towards the first hand…
I’m extending my hand to another hand…
Well… what it is like?
Well I imagine feeling the material of the actual drawing. That the materialized hand is still a drawing and it’s still paper.
And so what is that like?
Well, so like touching the paper, and also that I already know that when we shake hands, a trace of that hand will be left on me.
I mean, of the pencil.
Oh right, as in that you’ll get dirty?
I don’t want to say directly that I’d get dirty, more like that it will leave something behind.
Right. All right, so the first hand shakes your hand and leaves a trace. What are you going to do with that? Do you enjoy it or does it make you mad?
I’m thinking about it. I think I’m delighted.
That I had this contact with a hand, but I’d leave it at that. Because I don’t know what to do with that further.
Me neither… And was the hand cold or warm… what was this side of it like?
Like the paper. Not warm, not cold. Neither smooth nor rough. Paper is always something in between.
So you have this smudge on your hand, maybe try smearing it on your face.
No, no, I wouldn’t do that.
No? All right then. So… Say goodbye to those hands somehow. And come back to the room.
I’d say that, how I see it, that the hand shook my hand, extended itself to shake a hand with me, and then went right back to… being.
… on the terrace. So I actually can leave.
Yeah so imagine… that you’re leaving.
I met them and now I’m leaving.
… back to the room, close the door behind you.
I’d say that the materialized hand closes the door and stays there.
Yeah. So imagine that the hand closes the door behind you. And you’re now in the room, and it resembles this room very much… and a path leads from this room to another one.
Are you sitting already?
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
And how did the drawing go?
Well… it went okay. I don’t draw that much so…
Hmm, what does the hand you were drawing look like?
So, it is my left hand. And it’s drawn from above. The back of it. The fingers are bent. You can also see a bit of a sweater and coat. There’s a mole on my middle finger.
Aha. Mhm. And what colour is your sweater?
Mhm… and the coat too.
So try imagining taking your sweater off… and tying it over your eyes… can you imagine that?
And then someone turns you around several times, just like the kids do. Well and then someone, quite unpleasantly, pushes you. You run, stumble and fall down. On the ground. You take the sweater off your eyes. Where are you?
On a playground.
Mhm. Tell me more about this playground.
There’s a red fence. And a swimming pool behind the fence. And behind the pool, there’s a horizon with really tall trees.
Where do you feel you want to go?
I’m more like, still looking around and thinking that I fell down.
So look around properly and tell me what you see.
There’s a lot of children. Summer. Moms are running after the kids who are shouting a lot.
Mhm. Can you hear any other sounds than the shouting?
Mostly just that… and from far away also the pool. Swimming.
So now you’ve already found your feet?
Where do you want to go?
I go back to the pool because that’s where my blanket is.
I see. Are you alone?
How many friends?
Four. Ok. So you come back to your blanket, you lie down… okay? On the blanket.
I sit down.
You sit down.
There are two friends. The other ones are probably in the pool.
Mhm. What are they doing?
They’re talking… And there’s some food.
And what kind of food?
I can’t see that.
You can’t see… So maybe have a look.
And some bread.
Mhm. And what kind of cheese?
Emmentaler perhaps. It’s a block of cheese.
A block? So take it in your hand. Will they let you?
So take it… in your hand.
I have it.
Take a good look at it. Maybe it’s going to look a bit strange. Your friends could be wondering what are you doing. Almost as if you saw cheese for the first time, right?
They don’t really pay much attention to me…
That’s cool. Smell it then. How does it smell?
Yeah, it does…
And how? Describe the smell to me.
Sweet? And would you like to have some?
Hmmm… not really, no.
Not really… well… Take a small bit at least. Just a tiny bit.
I’ll take a knife.
Yeah. Take a knife. Cut a piece and taste it.
Yeah, it’s good. Would be great with some bread.
There’s some bread no? Or what do you have?
I’ll cut a piece.
Yeah, cut some.
So you’re chewing on this bread and emmentaler for a while… you look at the sky, hear your friends talking. What are they talking about anyways?
Hmm… about their holiday plans.
And what is it?
One says she would like to work but can’t find any good part time job. The other one works a bit, in a fresh bar.
I see… are you interested in this?
Not really. I enjoy just sitting and looking around.
So tell me what else do you see now that you’re looking around.
The pool. A slide. Otherwise, it’s quite a large space without any trees, those are pretty far in the back. It’s really hot so there’s a lot of people. Everyone wants to swim. I think I will also go into the pool.
Okay so do you want to go right now?
Do you climb or jump into it?
From the ladder.
From the ladder. Like with your back turned to the pool?
No, no. The front.
With your front… what’s the water like?
What temperature is it?
I can’t really guess that.
Well you can feel it. Ice cold… or?
Pleasantly cold and chilly.
Chilly… in the summer weather. Then try to completely submerge yourself in the water. Dive into it. Your hair flows behind you and you go to the bottom. Then you kick back and rise up again… and take a breath… Will you swim?
Yeah I will. But there’s a lot of people so I have to zigzag a lot.
Mhm. Front crawl or breaststroke?
And does your head sink into the water or do you keep it above the water level?
And is your hair loose?
It’s in a bun.
Will you be swimming for a long time?
Maybe two more laps. Then I’ll go.
And where do you go after? I mean, when you leave the pool.
Home, for sure. But I’ll sit on the blanket for a while longer.
All right so I think you can slowly go home by continuing into the next room. Goodbye.
You’re sitting already, right?
How did the drawing go?
Great. I like drawing.
Mhm, it looks very nice.
Looks like the index finger and thumb are somehow getting closer to each other… as if they were about to grasp something. What would you grasp with them?
Hard to say. Because this is kind of a… seems like a basic grasping motion in process.
So it would be something quite small. What could it be?
Perhaps a pencil.
So imagine that you take this pencil. In your left hand. And you take a good look at it. What does it look like?
The tip is pointing at me. And…
It’s quite small.
Mhm, mhm. And you’re staring into the tip?
Why are you pointing at yourself like this with the pencil?
Perhaps so that I could see it from a different angle than when I was drawing the hand.
Mhm. Hmm, and what if you broke the pencil?
Mhm, try it.
So the tip is now in my right hand.
Mhm. Imagine the sound, how it cracks when the pencil breaks.
A blunt sound.
So the pencil is broken, now imagine that the sound multiplies a thousand times. As if it was… as if it was a Big Bang. If it was a completely new beginning, which suddenly takes you to a completely new place. Where are you?
In a foreign country. But I don’t know where exactly.
Mhm, and what do you see around?
Hmm, I guess a city full of people… and I begin to belong.
And if you look around right now, in this very place, what do you see?
A busy street.
It’s a pedestrian street so only people. It’s in the city centre. Another street crosses it.
Try walking for a bit. Into the street that crosses the one you’re in right now. Look into the street, something catches your attention. What is it?
A window… of one of the houses.
A window, I see.
Maybe an apartment of students. Looks very lively.
Mhm. Feel tempted to go check it out?
So if you go below the window, you notice that on the ground is a… kind of like… a couple of pebbles, one of which you can take and throw lightly into the window. Just to draw attention. Try it.
Well it falls inside, the window is open.
I see. And what happens next?
Nothing. I take one more… and throw it the same way. Two people peek out then.
What do they say?
Well, they greet me.
In what language?
What do you reply?
I greet them as well.
Are they men or women?
A woman and man. And they’re not alone.
They’re not alone?
They’re not alone. There’s also… it’s a group of people but only these two looked out.
Well perhaps they’re asking why are you throwing the stones.
Because I want to know what’s going on. And they invite me upstairs.
Good. So you go upstairs. It’s a staircase. You only go to… which floor is it?
In the first one.
The first one. So you go to the first floor and the door of the apartment is already open, and you enter. What do you see?
I see the whole group of people staring at me. But not unfriendly or anything, more like curious. They start talking and invite me in. They ask me what am I doing in the city and how did I end up in this house.
What do you answer?
That I just went into the street and the window where something was happening grabbed my attention.
And did you already figure out what the city is called? Ask them what the city is for God’s sake.
Berlin… would you like to go to Berlin?
Yeah. I’ve been there a several times.
Do you like Berlin?
A lot. I’m thinking about going to study there.
So you’ve sat down.
Hmm. How did the drawing go?
Well I wasn’t educated in drawing so it was a little hard but in the end it wasn’t that bad.
How does the hand that you drew look like?
I made a circle from the thumb and index finger as if I was saying that it’s ok.
I see. What is ok?
This is ok.
What is ok?
What is ok?
That I managed to get inside finally. I didn’t expect that then actually… so I could have anticipated it that I made it up like this.
Well so if you make a circle like this from your thumb and index finger Try it a little bit, put it as if in front of you, in front of your eyes and imagine that you are somewhere… somewhere… I don’t know where and you look right through the circle. What do you see?
I see myself in a club at a concert.
I see, hmm… good and what else is in the club?
So right in front of me is the band that has just decided to play finally. And also in front of me a lot of other people that are in my view. Yeah.
What can you hear?
Sorry, what can you hear?
Yeah, what can you hear?
Except for the people, the band has finally started to play so mostly music.
And do you like it, are they playing well?
Well I went to see them so…
I was looking forward to see them.
What is the style? Or what are they playing?
It is banjo punk.
I see. How many musicians are there?
Try to look at them on stage…
So, I can see one two three… f… Five.
Five? What instruments do they have?
So the singer, he has the banjo. Also there is a normal guitar player and then a violin player and a drummer. How many did I say? Yeah and also a bass player.
Right. Which instrument is the most tempting for you?
I really like the banjo, I don’t know how to play it but I like the sound.
What is the sound of a banjo?
… well, it is strangely metallic.
Mhm, and what else?
And it also has this like… this natural… natural… kind of like a natural air about it it which makes you feel like you’re in some kind of a pub or what.
What kind of emotions does it evoke in you?
Very happy actually, I’m smiling.
Mhm, mhm, so try imagine that you are also on the stage with the band and you play the banjo with them.
Yeah that’s a nice image.
And you’re good at it…
Well, I can imagine anything, of course. So I’m totally rocking out.
Well, yeah, it’s a picture.
I think I’m even better than the singer.
Are there any girls looking at you?
Well of course, loads of girls there.
And what do they think about you?
I can see it in their eyes, I’m a hero. That I’m really good.
Maybe there’s going to be some mingling after the show.
Hmm. So imagine that there are two really pretty girls. What do they look like?
Two really beautiful girls, huh?
Like stunning… 10/10.
So one of them definitely has long black hair, or maybe brownish. Both are quite tall, just like me, a hundred and seventy centimeters, so that I can look them in the eye. And the other one, her hair is short, in a French style. That’s good. They’re not wearing much, really, it’s really hot inside. So perhaps t-shirts, or tank tops. Yeah, that’s a pretty decent picture.
They smile at you nicely.
Both of them really want to talk to me, they talk over each other a lot and so… I don’t know which one to answer first, and it’s quite a merry company, we’re laughing a lot.
One of them leaves to the toilet.
One of them… that could be easier then. So we’re like talking about stuff, she’s glad the other one left, I need to tell you something, I’m having a really good time and thank you. And I’m a pretty quiet person, so I’m just standing around with my beer and nodding, right, everything’s fine.
Yeah but now you really decide to do something about it…
Yeah but in the meantime the other one comes back from the toilet. So there…
Yeah, damn, she does indeed come back.
It’s always like this.
But now the other one need to go as well.
All right then…
So the other one leaves, and now you’re standing around with the first one. What does she tell you?
Well they take turns, but you know right here, I need to keep in mind what was I saying before… and before I’m done, the other one is back again. So both of them are there.
You just give up like this then?
I do, well I still have a girlfriend so I guess I shouldn’t be really like…
All right, then that’s probably better, you need to do this some other time or forget about it completely. So I think you can go to the next room.
Is anybody in here?
Can I sit down?
You can also lie down… are you sitting comfortably?
I’m glad to hear that. Did the drawing go well, or how did it go?
Hmm, quite okay.
Sorry, I didn’t hear you. Quite how?
What does the hand you were drawing look like?
It’s a bit cramped.
Mhm. Like, clenched?
Quite clenched and with its palm facing up.
I see… give me a moment. (…) Sorry, we had a bit of trouble here.
That’s ok, I might have said something wrong.
No, no, no, that’s my fault. So the palm is facing up, and the hand is a bit clenched.
Mhm. Why is it clenched?
Perhaps the muscles…
Mhm. And the palm up, if you imagine it, that you’re in this room right here and someone comes in and wants to put something in that hand.
What could that be?
An apple, for example.
An apple. Try touching it a little then. What is it like?
It is quite nice, really, but I’d have eaten it already.
Well, don’t do this to me, don’t eat it right away, first tell me what it looks like.
It’s quite small, like a golf ball.
I see, it’s a mini apple.
Mhm. And a bit green, not quite ripe yet.
Mhm. And you want to eat such an apple?
Yeah, I like apples like this.
Okay then, so have a bite, or do you it it all at once?
No, this one is maybe three bites.
Three bites… and you also eat the core, or what?
No, I don’t eat that.
Hmm, so have your first bite. How does it taste?
It’s quite sour but you can already feel that it’s only moments from being a sweet apple.
And if the taste had a colour? What would that be like?
Perhaps yellow green.
Yellow green… mhm. So have another bite. But just keep it in your mouth and then spit it out.
Well, it’s a bit strange now. Have a look at that bite. It reminds you of something.
It looks a bit like a dinosaur.
A dinosaur… hmm.
This kind of… it’s got a really long neck and only eats grass.
Mhm, so a herbivorous dinosaur probably. So try imagining that this apple is suddenly inflating and this little piece, this dinosaur actually, becomes a real dinosaur and it’s simply gigantic. I don’t know, how many meters it could be.. What do you think, how many meters tall could it be?
Thirty meters tall? Woah, that’s like a house. So imagine that this dinosaur pops up right here… here in Vodičkova street, in the city. And it starts to demolish the city with those huge feet. Although a herbivore, when it walks, the legs are ten meters long. It can crush trams, cars, people, everything. So imagine that this dinosaur slowly walks out of this street towards the Wenceslas Square.
You’re wrong, you have to go there and wait for me to be done here.
(voice from the previous room: Where should I go?)
Back. Nooo! Go back.
(voice from the previous room: And when do I know you’re done?)
I let you know. I’m really sorry.
That’s all right.
So it’s in the street, right?
Yeah, yeah, it’s in Vodičkova street… hmm you’re probably not from Prague?
That’s good. So you go through the street, there are trams and everything, and it just, the dinosaur just stomps onto everything. Just walks around. Can you see it? Where is it going now, what’s it doing?
Going towards the Wenceslas Square but it doesn’t get there, someone calls tanks and emergency units.
Oh my… Just imagine, the tanks arrive and also fighter planes, or maybe helicopters. And… what’s happening?
Well they want to catch it but instead of doing it normally, they just start shooting. And it gets really angry and stomps onto even more things. But then they hit the head and neck, so it convulses from the neck down, it demolishes houses and stomps over people. And it continues for a good while until it cannot really move anymore and just lies there.
And that’s it then?
It drops dead or what?
It’s alive but the poor thing is a bit out of it.
Do you feel sorry for it?
Will you try to save it somehow?
No? So maybe give him blow of mercy, won’t you, so it doesn’t suffer anymore?
No, it smashes its head onto a house, so it’s done already.
Kind of a suicide then?
Yeah but like, accidental.
That’s not very nice. So the dinosaur is dead. Well I don’t know. I think you have to go to the next room.
You have to tell me where to go, you know.
You can come here. Yes, here’s a chair waiting for you.
There’s a chair and it’s waiting for you.
Great. So how did the drawing go?
Yeah… it’s been a long time, so I don’t know anymore.
And do you still remember the hand?
Yeah, it’s really very small.
I don’t know. I’m lying, I know.
I thought so.
It’s true, it’s tiny. And it has very sharp nails.
It does because I wanted to have mine done like this just yesterday but I didn’t have enough time. So I was wondering what it would look like.
So this is how you’re compensating.
A little bit.
Woah, it’s like… I had this idea, this sharp-nailed hand, I have an urge to stab something with it. What would you stab with it?
I’m not really the type to stab anything.
Well try it.
I’m more into digging.
I dig into this, into my small dog.
Into a small dog… so try imagining that this dog is here now and you’re digging your nails into it. What happens?
She’s gonna start gnawing at me, salivate and jump at me, and in general will be very happy.
Oh, so she likes pain?
No no, she doesn’t feel the pain, she’s a really fat dog and has so much skin that it feels more like a cuddle.
I see. Now imagine that this dog is licking your hand. And it’s already a bit slimy, right. You’re thinking, maybe it’s too much now. You do like the dog, but it’s getting too slimy. So imagine now that you’re in some room, maybe in a room like this one, and it fills up with this dog’s saliva. And you’re in it. What is that like?
I don’t know, I have this problem…
I love my dog more than I love my life. So if it’s her saliva, I’m fine with it.
Mhm. So maybe go for a swim in it… do you prefer front crawl or breaststroke?
She’s got really good saliva, you know, sometimes she just cleans you completely.
I see, spiritually…
Yeah, for example, if you gave her a bit of shampoo, you never have to bathe again, she’s going to take care of you.
Well that’s amazing.
Do you have a dog?
That’s a mistake. When I have puppies…
… let me know.
Hmm, well, try imaging now going out in the street, in front of the gallery and your dog is there but… it grows big… about the size of a horse.
I dream about this, I dream about this every single day.
Well then imagine this.
I would be so happy and I would also want her to know how to fly. So that she’d be a bit like Falco.
Yes, imagine this…
That’s like my ultimate bliss.
Imagine it then…
No, I do this every day, I don’t have to do it now.
Yeah but I’d really love to fly with you on the dog.
Me too, that’d be so swell.
Imagine then that your dog is outside, the size of a horse… and has wings.
A bit bigger, a bit bigger.
A bit bigger then. It has wings. And you climb on top of her.
And maybe butterfly wings, I’d love that.
Butterfly wings, well she’s got whatever you imagine. So you climb on top, and so do I. I sit behind you.
No, no, no, all the way to the tail.
I’m sitting on the tail?
And you sit on the back?
I’m going to hold on to the skin folds.
Yeah but wait a second, I wouldn’t want to…
Don’t worry, the tail is a good spot. Her tail is curled like a snail.
Ok, so I’m imagining this, I’ll sit by the snail and we take off together, okay?
We’re slowly ascending, flying through Školská street, we see this Vodičkova Street, we see a tram, the Wenceslas and Charles Square start to appear as well. Where do we fly?
Well when I dream about this, about having such a dog, capable of doing this, a huge flying dog like Falco was… I definitely wouldn’t limit myself with flying just around here.
Well I’m not telling you to do so… but first you have to get out of here.
First of all, she moves in supernatural speed and I can get anywhere, anyhow.
I see. Well… then kick it off. Where are we?
Right now… I’d fly somewhere warm now. That’s a bit of a disadvantage, my dog grunts and she gets too warm when it’s warm… so because of that I’d go to Italy at most.
Mhm. To the southern or northern part?
That depends on her. Maybe Sicily would be nice.
Very well, Sicily. So shall we land in Sicily?
So we’re landing in Sicily, at the foot of the Etna… and… what does it look like there?
It’s warm, I can have a glass of wine and smoke.
Mhm. And how does it look there?
It’s a bit desolate, a couple of houses… white ones… definitely.
Mhm. Where would you like to go?
Trees… and I hear…
What do you hear?
Right away, the dog needs a swim otherwise she’ll kick the bucket, it’s so warm there. Well and then there’s only a beach bar. It’s probably in the seventies.
I see, so we also travelled through time.
Yeah, that’s a favourite of mine. When I have to imagine stuff, I’m also moving through time. Well then the seventies. Some crazy italian music is playing. Something really wild. And I think I’ll have a Martini Bianco and cigarette. And the dog is swimming again.
What do you smoke?
How do they taste?
It is… well gross, but I’m addicted… what am I to do…
Well, the best would be some pharmacotherapy.
Hm, I don’t know, I actually have this feeling that I’d miss it anyway. I really can’t imagine going somewhere and not smoking. I mean, when going out.
Well maybe it’s going to help you when they forbid smoking in the pubs.
Oh I hope they won’t, that stresses me out.
You can also sit down… are you seated comfortably?
I’m asking whether you’re seated comfortably.
Yeah, all good.
And how did the drawing go?
Well I didn’t manage to fit the whole hand on the paper.
Mhm. But how did the drawing go for you?
Well not so well, as there was a lot of people that were kind of observing me. That’s social pressure.
I get that… and which hand is that?
It’s the left one.
I really like it.
And what is it like?
What do you mean?
How does it look like?
It’s slightly larger. So, the hand itself is large and fingers are medium sized. It’s very flexible, like I can… the fingers can be bent in the opposite direction pretty far, like.
Mhm. That’s an interesting hand. Well now, try imagining that this hand you drew begins to materialize. It becomes three-dimensional. It slowly comes out of the paper, and basically stares at you… how does that make you feel? Such a strange situation…
Well that would be a large hand, so… because I drew it in a larger scale. That would be a very unusual thing, to see such a large hand.
Mhm, mhm. Imagine it then. Imagine it’s right here with us, or rather over there with you in your part of the exhibition.
Well I wouldn’t really mind.
Yeah, that’s okay.
Can you see the hand?
So and how do you react?
Well with an anticipation of what is it going to do, now that it came out of the paper.
And how about you do something?
I don’t know.
Try to do something. Something you wouldn’t normally do.
I have no idea what that could be. I do everything that’s normally not being done.
Good for you. So try doing something you would normally do.
With that hand?
Yeah, well, I don’t know. With anything, really. React to it somehow… I mean there’s a weird large hand, basically in a living room, and you have to react somehow.
I guess I’d try to grab it.
Mhm, try that. How will you grab it?
With both hands.
Yeah, yeah. And what does the hand do?
It would simply… it would just let me. I’d press it against me and take it home.
And what it is like, when you do that?
Pleasant… because it is my hand.
And how do you press it against you, describe it, I can’t really imagine that.
Well I’d take it like, I don’t know… like when you take a cat in your arms or a dog or a small child… something like that.
I see. So you would nestle the hand in your arms?
Yeah. Or I’d just draw it close to my chest.
Mhm, mhm… so you’re holding it like that and what about the hand? How does it react?
It would do the same.
I see… It would like, hug you back, if I understand it right?
What is it like?
Nice. What do you feel? Where do you feel the touch?
Well, like all over the body. The upper part. And the middle finger of the large hand would like… would hook itself to my shoulder. And the thumb would go almost around the waist.
I see. Yeah.
Around the ribcage.
I can see that. So imagine that the hand is now maybe even bigger and belongs to someone, a person. And this person grabs you with this hand. And now, the person blindfolds you, softly, and takes you somewhere. No, doesn’t take you, the person drags you, you’re in the hand, right, and the person goes some place. Huge steps. Runs somewhere really far. It takes maybe half an hour. And this person drags you to that place, puts you on the ground and just runs off. And you stay. Where are you?
A sandy place.
I see. Well you can pull the blindfold down and look around. What else is there?
Well mountains and a forest.
Nothing, nothing else.
Mhm. And where do you want to go now?
I’d climb the mountain to see where I am.
Then do that… are you there already?
And what do you see?
I see a big lake.
Mhm. And what colour is the water?
It’s green-blue, gray-blue… Clouds.
How do the clouds look like?
Very blurry, kinda undefined.
Yeah. Mhm. So try to look into those clouds… Any interesting shape to be seen?
Hmm, not really, it’s really all quite blurry… all across the sky.
And what colour are those clouds?
Grey… and otherwise the sky is blue or what?
No. The whole thing. The whole thing is grey.
Mhm, mhm, and the lake is also like that, right?
Hmm, very wintery.
Do you want to go to the lake?
So go have a look. Can you hear anything, any sounds?
Just the wind.
And do you feel the wind?
Yes, I do.
How and where?
All over my body. It’s cold.
Are you naked or what?
I don’t know… so what are you wearing?
Same as now. Winter coat, shoes, stockings, scarf.
And you still feel the wind all over the body?
Well I’ve been there for quite a while.
Oh right, that’s true. Easy to freeze. Well… so I let the wind blow you into the next room.
Great… thank you.
You’re welcome, goodbye.
Have you sat down already?
How did the drawing go?
Well it’s been a long time since I drew a hand study.
Well it isn’t exactly a study.
Are you an artist?
Yeah, I study Intermedia.
Hmm I luckily don’t know what that is. Well, it’s an interesting hand. The middle and ring fingers, as if they’ve grown together… what if you imagine that… Imagine just two people who’ve grown together like these two fingers of yours… Whom would you imagine?
I don’t know… like I will… I will try to imagine.
Imagine it. Imagine someone who grew together with someone. Two people grown together… Anyone on your mind already?
Well I’m not imagining anyone very specific.
Mhm, so tell me who are you imagining and what do they look like… Are they men?
Hmm, not really, no.
Then two women?
Well I imagine the whole thing, those bodies, but…
What do you see?
That part where their arms are fused.
Fused at their arms? As in they’re kind of holding their hands?
No, they aren’t.
… or they’re just fused.
Yeah. So imagine the part where the hands are fused, and continue to the bodies of the people… How do their bodies look? Describe them to me… Come on, don’t be shy.
I’m not shy, I’m hungover… it’s complicated. Well so the bodies are skinny.
I also want to laugh… let me in on your images.
I can’t really imagine anything like this but… for example two male bodies.
Well… are they hairy? Or smooth? They’re skinny, we know that already.
Average amount of hair.
Okay. So try imagining the face of one of those men… What does he look like? What eyes does he have?
Well, then brown eyes.
Distinct nose bones.
Mhm. And what about the mouth? Open, closed?
Mhm. Does he remind you of anyone?
No. I’m actually trying to not imagine anyone specific… anyone I know.
Try stroking his hair… do you manage?
Mhm, I do.
And what does it feel like? How’s the hair?
Hmm, dark brown.
Mhm, and how does it feel on your hand?
I don’t know, it’s very stressful.
I think you’ve put up with a lot of stress during this session with me, maybe it’s time for you to continue to the next room.
Are you looking forward?
I don’t know.
You don’t know.
I don’t hear you very well.
I’ll try to be articulate.
How did the drawing go?
And how does the hand look like, the one you drew?
How does it look like… well I tried to make it look like it’s mine.
Mhm… so tell me more about it. Describe it.
Well so the hand… it’s quite slender, long fingers. A striking ring with gemstones. A leather string wrapped around the wrist.
Mhm. So imagine that this string starts to strangle your wrist… what are you going to do about it?
I’ll cut it.
Mhm. So you’ll take the scissors… right? And you cut it… what happens before… describe it.
The whole process?
So the string strangles my wrist. The blood keeps flowing into the hand and that’s really unpleasant. And the string starts strangling my wrist, see. So I take the scissors and cut it, on like the inner side of my hand.
I see. And what happens with the string?
It falls on the ground.
It falls on the ground. So have a look at the ground and describe what it looks like.
It’s this floor right here. It’s clean white and the snipped red string lies there… It’s like, two, four, it’s in like, I don’t know, six, it’s in six halves.
Mhm. And is it arranged in a pattern or something?
Well what does it look like, like a pattern or so.
Well now that you’re saying it, yes, actually. As if it was… arranged in a halved circle.
Mhm, mhm. Does it remind you of anything?
Hmm, reminds me of circles, like when you throw a stone into the water so like those that form afterwards.
Then imagine a water surface and imagine it with those circles, concentric ones, and how they spread across the water surface. So you imagined the water surface. Where is it?
Well it’s a pond of some sort. A pond near a forest park.
Mhm. And what else do you see there?
I see reeds. I see some pines there… pine cones… a deer.
A deer? And what attracts you, what has your attention… in this scenery?
Everything at once. All of what’s happening there. Waves, the smell of the forest and pine cones and at the same time…
Describe the smell.
Yeah, that’s interesting.
The smell is beautiful. It’s very foresty, it’s a forest smell… needles, cones, the dirt, the moss.
Try to give a name to the smell.
Like a human name.
I don’t know… maybe like. A woman’s name. Rachel.
Rachel. And colour?
But a nice brown.
A nice brown… very well. And what about the deer, where did it go?
Ran away somewhere.
And could you try and run after it?
What if you ran after it?
I can, yeah, I can run after the deer.
Then run. And where are you running now? Where is it, and what’s there?
We’re running to a meadow, into an open space.
And the deer is there or it disappeared?
Well it led me to the meadow and disappeared after that.
Disappeared after that. And why do you think…
Or it knew that I shouldn’t go after it anymore.
I knew that I was only supposed to follow it to the meadow.
And what stopped you? Or what did you… how did you figure out that you shouldn’t follow anymore?
I don’t know. I felt that it was supposed to lead me to a specific place, it gave me a chance to run after it but only to a certain point. And after that it ran on its own, through places I couldn’t follow to and I wouldn’t even want to.
I understand. And what was the reason for this, or… what is there…
On the meadow?
Well, I mean, why were you supposed to get there? Seems like the deer led you there for a reason.
Well to a new view, a new world. Freedom, like. I’m not limited by any trees, no borders… Nothing like… In that forest, there were like, a lot of well built parts, well built sections of the forest, quite hilly and this is more like… a meadow with no limits.
Mhm. So I won’t hold you back with my suggestive remarks and I will let you through to the next room. Goodbye.
So have you sat down already?
Excellent. How did the drawing go?
And how does the hand you drew look?
As in how I see it or like…
Hmm, just if you could say anything about it… how does it look?
About my hand, right? Or just the drawing?
Well, so it’s expressive. I don’t really know how to draw well, so… I tried to be expressive…
Well I don’t really judge anything, I only asked for a description.
Of how it looks like?
Well then… very like hard, very black. And I tried… it’s very much filled in. Maybe some of the lines are overdone and some of them a bit crude. And… don’t know what else…
Well that was a nice description, really…
I think it’s about one-to-one as well.
I mean the ratio.
Yeah, sure. Like… the fingers are kinda spread… or…
Yeah, a little spread.
It’s quite… quite a friendly hand, it seems to me.
Yeah… I’d say.
Well then… if the hand was to grab something, what would it grab?
So perhaps sand.
So imagine that you take… you take the sand into your hands. What colour is the sand?
Mhm, and very fine or coarser?
Well quite fine, but also… really quite fine.
So are you sitting already?
And how did the drawing go?
So not that well, the last time I drew was at my entrance exam and I was just terrified how bad I am at it.
Well the hand is a bit like… as if it tried to catch something, grab something…
Yeah, well maybe but mostly I just laid it down and this is a position that’s easy to draw. But it’s true, it is quite prehensile.
Like as in it grabs onto things.
They say, a prehensile thumb.
Sure, I see… understanding of grabbing. So if you imagine the hand again as you’ve drawn it, if it wanted to grab something, what would it be?
Something like a rod, or shaped like one.
Mhm, mhm. So imagine the rod.
Well I imagine one… two centimeters in diameter, and twenty centimeters long but… I don’t know what would it be for. Probably for nothing.
I see, and what would it be made of?
Something heavy. Like some metal.
Hmm. So imagine maybe… what would it feel like if you imagined you had the rod in your hand now?
It’s quite assuring. If I imagine it’s in my pocket and I grab it, I calm down or something.
I see. And if you touch it, if you clutch it in your hand, what’s the temperature?
Well, cold because it is metal.
And is it rough or smooth?
Hmm. So imagine walking on a street, and you have this short rod on you. And you walk here, maybe here in Vodičkova street, and you drop the rod suddenly. Somebody gets down and gives the rod back to you. Who is that person and what does he look like?
So I’d say it’s a middle aged man.
And what does he look like?
Look like, well what does he look like… I think he’s a bit short, maybe like me, but short for a man. He’s wearing a leather… a brown jacket, the weird one a ticket inspector would wear. And he’s a nice man if he’s picking it up for me. Short hair, and slightly going bald.
Okay and does he say anything?
I thank him and he says: You’re welcome. And that’s it but I think the whole thing is a bit suspicious to him… like what is this?
So he gives you the rod, you thank him and what now? You just let him leave?
I guess, I think I do because I’d like to keep the mystery, to keep him from knowing what’s up.
Mhm, okay then, so continue into the street. Which direction would you go to?
Towards the Wenceslas Square.
The Wenceslas Square so… what do you see?
The weather is nice. Not too nice actually. Quite normal. It’s getting dark which is normal around this time of the year. I think it might be late afternoon so it’s getting dark. And there are these tobacco shops and people, so many of them. And I have to decide whether I take the tram or I walk. And I probably walk because I always do.
So you go home or where?
Well… maybe not. I probably don’t go home.
And where then?
Well, maybe to meet some friends.
So then you go there, towards the Wenceslas Square and then… the whole street starts to change. It becomes… somehow surreal. Simply different from the ordinary. You have a feeling that you have never before been to that street. As if it got a new life of its own, and was completely different. From a different universe. What does it look like?
Well that’s hard. Does it change quickly or gradually… or what?
Gradually… in about half a minute it…
And it changes completely or it’s just my feeling, I feel differently suddenly… or it actually physically looks different?
You feel like the street is different.
So I’m imagining that the architecture somehow starts to reassemble and at the same time, if the street is still the street, there still has to be some architecture left. I imagine some of the building’s windows pour over completely. And the facades become so smooth, like plastic. And buildings might fuse with those across the street and become these huge U-shapes. And insides of the houses could become outsides or somehow open. And maybe the people who were there with me… They might not see it, I don’t know. So if the people didn’t see it, they would be like normal but if they saw it, they would totally panic. But they don’t seem to panic, which is weird. That makes me nervous because they are totally cool as if nothing’s happening.
So they think this is normal.
Yeah. But then I would consider that I made the whole thing up perhaps.
Hard to say, then. So maybe try asking one of the people on the street, someone who looks nice to you.
Like I go to them and say: isn’t something suspicious going on here?
I don’t know, you can reach out in any way you want.
So I’d ask for directions because first I’d like to know… I wouldn’t just come up to someone and say… I’d look like a lunatic. I’d come to someone and ask maybe where should I go to get to the Charles Square. And then I’d say I’ve been there a thousand times but now it somehow feels different and whether he also feels this way.
And what does this person say?
He says it also seems different to him but since everyone is cool about it, he’s also cool.
Mhm and how does he look?
It’s a tall man and actually doesn’t seem that nice, I’m thinking this is probably a type to talk a lot so it’s okay if I come up to him and start talking to him. He’s got medium long hair, maybe ten centimeters. Light brown. And also a coat or rather a jacket, and hiking boots.
Hiking boots. Well I think it’s time for you to go closer towards the Charles Square.
- 1st. Witness – approx. 30 min
- 1st. Witness – approx. 30 min (transcript)
- 2nd. Witness – approx. 30 min
- 2nd. Witness – approx. 30 min (transcript)
- 3rd. Witness – approx. 30 min
- 3rd. Witness – approx. 30 min (transcript)
- 4th. Witness – approx. 30 min
- 4th. Witness – approx. 30 min (transcript)
- Aarhus Kunsthal_OPEN CALL_COLLECTIVE MAKING - The Competences
- Anonymous (preliminary) advertisement in 5 different newspapers
- artycok.tv, Competence (interview)
- Audio example (remake) from transcribed conversations room 3, Competence
- Audio files 1-3 (Czech) room 2, Competence
- Blind panel Data Biographical Analysis, Oslo, 13 October 2016
- Blind panel Data Biographical Analysis, Oslo, 13 October 2016 (transcript)
- Blind panel Microanalysis, Oslo, 14 October 2016
- Blind panel Microanalysis, Oslo, 14 October 2016 (transcript)
- Blind panel Teller Flow Analysis, Oslo, 15 November 2016
- Blind panel Teller Flow Analysis, Oslo, 15 November 2016 (transcript)
- BNIM Final interpretation, Work, work...12 February 2017
- BNIM Preliminary interpretation (Column A) Work, work...20 January 2016
- BNIM Preliminary interpretation (Column B) Work, work...20 January 2016
- BNIM Preliminary interpretation (Column C) Work, work...20 January 2016
- Critical Reflections on Empty Objects as an Experience to Come
- Example from individually mounted photographs room 4, Competence
- Examples audio files from preliminary interviews with Czech emigrants to Brazil, Dismissed Competence
- Examples from exercises, video, images, Stretching the Imagination
- Examples from transcribed conversations conversations room 3, Competence
- Final assessment, November 2017
- General production budget, research fellow 2013
- Images from exhibition Room 1- 4, Competence
- Images from preliminary model, Mother, Dear Mother
- Interim activity report, research fellow 2013-2014
- Interim activity report, research fellow, 2014-2015
- Interim assessment, protocol criteria December 2016
- Interviews 1-10, audio, Stretching the Imagination
- Interviews 1-10, transcripts, Stretching the Imagination
- Interviews with participants Anonymous Work Group 1-6
- Interviews with participants Anonymous Work Group 1-6 (transcript)
- Ministry of Education and Research
- Norwegian Artistic Research Programme (NARP)
- Official press release exhibition, Competence
- Official press release exhibition, Mother, Dear Mother
- Official press release exhibition, Stretching the Imagination
- Official press release Viva Voce
- Oslo National Academy of the Arts
- Preliminary proposal to volunteers, Stretching the Imagination
- Press images from exhibition Mother, Dear Mother
- Radio broadcast Mother, Dear Mother
- Radio broadcast Mother, Dear Mother (transcript)
- Remake duet of song Mother, Dear Mother (Mor, Kjære Mor)
- Review of Mother, Dear Mother Kunstkritikk (Norwegian)
- Review report, (in Norwegian)
- Sequentialisation of Subsession 1-2-3 London, example, draft
- Staging Dislocation: Notes on Finished and Unfinished Work
- Student announcement about the course
- Subsession 1-2-3 London, 15-16 September 2016
- Subsession 1-2-3 London, 15-16 September 2016 (transcript)
- The Association of Doctoral Organisations in Norway (SIN)
- The Norwegian Association of Higher Education Institutions (UHR/NRKU)
- Tom Wengraf, Lecture Biographical Narrative Interpretation Method (BNIM), Oslo, 13 October 2016
- Tom Wengraf, Lecture Biographical Narrative Interpretation Method (BNIM), Oslo, 13 October 2016 (transcript)
- Translation of audio files 1-3 (English) room 2, Competence
- UMA Audioguide, Competence (interview)
- Unedited film footage, integrating exercise elements and comments.
- Unedited video translation, Mother, Dear Mother.
- Updated assessment, protocol criteria September 2017
- Viva Voce, October 2017 (transcript)
- Viva Voce, October 2017 (video documentation)
- Work contract Oslo National Academy of the Arts, research fellow 2013-2016
- You said, ‘irony’