CLUBTAN, Site-specific window painting, Gouache, light-senstive inks, buttermilk, household paint & plastic sheeting on windows, Amager Film Lab, Copenhagen, 2016
An old lady sits in a corner in an armchair. She is half-asleep. She is very old, and is starting to fade. She has begun to lose her consciousness: the familiar textures, threads between things and people, everything is becoming unimportant.
Her eyes are like bright blue pools of icy water, with tiny islands of obsidian in the centre. The water is perfectly still. The blue goes on forever, heavy and eternal. Her watery, icy stare floats around the room, absent-mindedly looking for objects that her old eyes are too frail to see anymore.
She catches a glimpse of light in the corner. A very pale green that is almost glowing. For some reason this seems to ignite something in her, a deep feeling, a primitive response. She dreams that she is a lizard hatchling, buried in the sand.
It is hot, then warm. Droopy, scaly eyes, opening for the first time, blinking in the sun, blinking away the soft, raspy sand that trickles in and out of the eyes.
Rising from the shifting ground, a head emerges - still, then, suddenly, darting left and right. The feeling of neck muscles materialises, which a minute ago were not there, and now stretch and contract. Strong and responsive, in fluid osmosis, more and more limbs appear, ready to be used.
The sun is scorching. It presses into each leathery scale on the lizard’s back and legs, with a punch and the trailing sensation of prickly pins.
The old woman opens and closes her mouth with a sticky sound as her tongue unglues itself from her palate. She does this several times. She is thirsty.
The lizard casts a round, swivelling eye over the sandy beach. The mobile eyeball and its bulbous, protruding, scaly socket seem to rotate in opposite directions. In the distance, an orange blob is gliding over the sandy surface.
The blob moves toward the lizard, and as it draws nearer, it comes into focus. It is a full head of hair.
Even from this distance, the lizard can see that the hair is angry. Its fluffy strands are billowing in the wind like a million little shaking fists. The hair is shouting at the wind to carry it this way and that, shouting at the sky, shouting at the rocks, shouting at the distance, shouting at itself. The lizard lies very still. Perhaps if the hair does not see it, it will pass by and the lizard will be safe from whatever strange encounter the hair brings with it. The lizard does not know how to respond to the mysterious hair, if it is predator or prey. But the hair does not pass by. As it reaches the lizard, the wind dies down. The hair slumps right in front of the lizard, almost touching it.
Through the shiny lizard eye, the old lady recognises the hair. ‘Papa’, she thinks. ‘Why are you so angry?’ The soft pile of reddish, golden hair trembles and collects itself into an upright shape. It is now clearly a lovely, thick crop of long, sweeping ginger hair paired with a handsome moustache. ‘Child,’ says papa’s hair, ‘we’ve been looking everywhere for you. You had us so worried.’ They hug.
On a tiny obsidian island, somewhere in the middle of the sea, a flock of plump lizard hatchlings is running across a patch of feathery brown and golden seaweed, towards the sharp cliffs where food waits for them, away from the sand, embracing the freedom and bursting sensations of their first day on earth.
In a corner, an old lady snoozes, snoring softly.
Flore Nové-Josserand, London