Please be Here Now

Day 3

DAY 3 (from Saturday March 14th at 12 PM – Sunday March 15th at 12PM, 2015)

Photodocumentation by Alexandra Buhl

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I slip back into my love affair with humanity on the other side of the glass. It is a democratic relationship with a shifting focus. The objects of my gaze and my affection change, but all form part of the same mass.
I like the contrast between the talk in the shop of ‘medium, large, the fabric will contract’ and then all the people, gazes, bodies, sizes and shapes on the other side of the window.
The spectrum of people expressing themselves here is enormous. I love the ones for whom it costs and effort. The preciousness is in the effort, in the will to do it, not in the outcome. Is that counter-capitalist?
My gaze mustn’t become an automatic function, given in advance. It must insist on its right to chose and reject.
My daughter came. When I saw her through the glass I started crying. When she came in we became strangers to each other. She tries so hard. I try so hard. We sat on my bed looking at the world. Looking at my mother on the other side of the glass. Looking at all the relations, threads of life, intertwining, unfolding before our eyes. Sailing the waters of these familiar connections and intersections.
Being looked at like this makes me shy. Do you feel shy?
We made a soccer team in our class.
The body consists of many parts.
We ate all the candy on Friday.
I love you

(Una Lily Schottländer Paré)
Said by children who came to visit me:
the body is movement
the body is your spirit made visible
the body is what you always have
the body is where you dwell
the body consists of many parts

The body is always here, now…
This young girl. So eager to understand. I admire her – her stubbornness, the fact that she doesn’t question her right to question things. Her willingness to put herself into the situation to get something from it.
“I don’t care about someone being intelligent; any situation between people, when they are really human with each other, produces “intelligence”.
But I feel violated by random visitors and people writing nonsense on the windows.
The glass becomes a screen for people’s projection of themselves. As the screen fills up it becomes increasingly difficult to penetrate the projection and enter the encounter.
This space is my body, and the writings on the window mark my body.
Mark it gently.
I just went on a journey through a pair of eyes on the other side. I was the one to lower my gaze, shyly.
When our eyes meet I still resist – I don’t allow myself to be absorbed completely.
I would like to be absorbed, to surrender to a gaze.
But I’m still too much in control.
I practice…
When I allow myself to surrender I am moved.
Literally and emotionally.
Control cuts in because it’s dangerous.
But I want to learn.
So I practice.
My gaze is not a service I owe anyone, no matter how much he or she might want it.
It feels like a commodification of my glance. Is this because of the setting or because commercialisation, commodification and the claim to what you want is so fundamental to our society?
If my gaze is the product, then people leave as soon as they’ve obtained it, and thus the experience ends there. And I have done them disfavour by giving them what they came for…
Sometimes people ask me to do something, write something or do a pose for them or with them. I don’t want to. This upsets some. But as soon as I take orders I feel drained. I must never take orders. Never.

(10PM) 2 hours till my late night guest arrives.
So many people still outside, I wonder what they see, what they experience?
There is no noise within me.
In spite of being in an extreme situation, I’m all peaceful inside.
I am in my element.
How absurd that it should look like this…
How fortunate I am to have found it…
I would like to – no, I want to – absorb this room. Resting here, protected by transparent walls I can meet others freely, genuinely, generously. Because I can withdraw. To a place that people only visit by invitation and respectfully. Here in my space I set the agenda and I meet the agenda on the other side of the glass on my own terms.
So how to internalize this space as a way of being in the world?
Maybe this very realisation and the physical experience will embed themselves in my body and journey on with me…
I’m not finished yet. Day 3 is till unfolding, moving into the night.
I put on lipstick simultaneously with a beautiful young woman on the other side of the glass.
And then we wrote to each other on the glass, kissed each other through glass and toasted each other.
I have made myself so bare and unadorned here that the simple act of putting on lipstick seems like a violent staging. It almost removes me from myself and makes me self-conscious to a much larger degree than all the gazes from outside…
The only, only thing we want is to bee seen and acknowledged as human beings.
A group of young men outside. A friend is here with me. I can feel his jitteriness, his reaction to this exposure. The men outside are provoking and provoked. Aggressive. Difficult to make real contact with. They insist on interrupting. Knocking violently on the window every time we try to talk to each other rather than focus on them. We wonder if we remembered to lock the door. Not scared, but uneasy…
How do we insist on meeting them anyway?
I’ve been very estranged by my own body.
Primarily because of my sexuality.
I’ve theorized a lot over my body and my sexuality.
Theory has helped me come to terms with both.
As a child I prayed to God not to be homosexual.
I’ve never talked to my parents about my sexuality.
I don’t use my own body autobiographically.
I would like to approach a greater vulnerability, sincerity.
I’ve fallen in love several times while being here…

100% human being
with trousers and hair
100% city centre
in flux
like credit card machine
my body
your shop
look at me
examine me
consume me
50% Adonis
50% camboy
(Esben Weile Kjær)
We were intoxicated. Losing our inhibitions. Getting naked with strangers and inventing intimate choreographies through glass. Smoking and drinking and getting lost and found.
You left me with infinite love.
(10.15AM) I slept heavily. Wasn’t even woken up when the graffiti was written on the window. The entire surface is filled now. Only little holes left for looking in and out. The space is closing in on itself. I awoke abruptly as I fell out of bed. The light is different. It’s getting late.
My last guest is coming soon. Soon it will be over…
We ready the needle and the ink. Talk of motifs. Russian prison tattoos. Past and present marks. Physical and otherwise…
The body as material and the body privately are difficult to separate when working with performance.
Sometimes I’m so distant from my own body that my boyfriend must count my fingers and toes out loud in order to bring me back.

(Signa Köstler)
She pierced my skin and marked me for life.
My last friend in the glasshouse.
Now I must gather myself. Sort out the space. Retrace the blurry lines. Get ready.
I will remove my dress and leave it on the bed. Leave the room.
Walk naked into the street. Meet people’s eyes with no glass between.
They walked along with me. Tacky music from the street musician playing a Celine Dion instrumental on his keyboard. Looking at me, looking at him. We smiled. Tears in my eyes. Body numb to the cold. The sunlight so sharp. My heart full of love for it all.
“The body is a flock and a shepherd.” (Nietzsche)