Brooklyn and Manhattan flats, New York, US
There is a rough, white surface in front of me. I am approaching it.
I am standing in front of it. I am touching it with all my body.
I feel an irritating, dry smell. A cool, dry, surface.
It is huge, straight, stable. I can lean against it quite heavily.
I can scratch it. I can lick it. I am putting my forehead to it
and I feel that coldness is spreading to the front of my skull.
The tip of my tongue is touching the dry surface.
It causes a flow of saliva. Nonetheless, my tongue is sticking.
My palms are getting cold, as well, as my knees, thighs and my torso.
I feel that the wall is becoming warmer than I am.
Which is softer? Where are the contours drawn?
The spring 1994 was hot, I was sweating a lot. Once, I licked my arm – it was salty, like after swimming in the nearby Atlantic. Sweat was also in the New York air, in the capitalist ethos of exploitation and sweatshops. I decided to leave my own archeological mark in sweat on the walls in my little flat in Brooklyn, New York, in 1994 and subsequently in my Manhattan flat a year later.
I covered the corners of my room with a dense solution of salt and water, which, applied many times over a period of several weeks, started a life of its own. The walls became my skin, the corners my groin, white paint my skin. Soon after, I discreetly moved out.