MARIELE NEUDECKER, THINGS CAN CHANGE IN A DAY, 2001, MIXED MEDIA INCL. WATER, ACRYLIC MEDIUM, SALT, FIBREGLASS
It dawned on me at about six-thirty in the morning that I must have been pedalling for hours, or at least for a great deal longer than I had thought. After a while the things I'd seen on the way had begun to condense into a continuous blur, and I just carried on pedalling, never stopping, never considering, never taking anything in, just passing everything.
In the large thriving cities, I weaved my own way amongst huge towers. I felt safe, in the days that I was there I had no trouble overcoming things, no roads too steep, no paths too rugged or potholed to navigate. I felt safe in the company of these great city buildings, their glittering glass facades reflected the transparency of obstacles I confronted - no hidden meanings, no confusion. Everything gaily crystal clear. In fact, things were so see through that I never thought to address the signs actually on the windows - obviously visible, but out of focus. If anything ever hinted that it might go wrong... I felt OK, the reinforced concrete my pillow, the titanic steel coursing through the towers my backbone.
I suppose that by (what I thought was) the end of the night I had noticed that there were no longer any buildings. Cities had turned to towns had turned to carrier bag villages and shopping trolley hamlets. Panic consumed me, I told myself that I could not cope in the limbo of this wilderness. I pedalled on until I realised that I was not even pedalling any more, I was speeding down a severe decline into suffocating darkness, I threw my arms about in the pitch black, but no arms knocked against anything, no hands clasped the brakes, no fingers wrapped themselves around a torch, no recognisable forms made their presence known, only white noise and impenetrable silence.
MARIELE NEUDECKER, HEAVEN, THE SKY, 2008, TWO PART TANK WORK, MIXED MEDIA INCL. WATER, RESIN, SALT, MERCURY LAMPS
After night after night in this cursed limbo I knew not myself, until after however many hour long minutes and fifty-two day weeks my gaze was stirred by a luminous white dove of a hand in the darkness, a balled fist furling and unfurling. I reluctantly approached it, and it took hold of my arm and thrust me into a high room somewhere with pale white walls and a view over a cityscape. The city, the city.
- You do understand that I can only point you in the right direction. I am inhuman, I am to be related to anonymously, and there is precious little I can to do to help you, but I will always be here, on Tuesdays from one to a quarter past four and on Wednesdays until three.
I understood, and I was told that I would soon once again be allowed out into the city. I had lost my bicycle, and I hoped I never wanted to find it. Outside I was able to see thousands of little details that I had sorely missed. Large expanses of grimey rooftops under puddles that reflected the sky, tangled electric vines entwining themselves with other cables, feminine satellite dishes that flirted with radio transmitters, stained lace curtain-twitching voyeurs, Messerschmitt sparrows, gargoyle ravens, grotesque crows, two mating pigeons and a small child at street level holding his mother's hand in tears, the other pallid little paw pointing up at a solitary red balloon floating up on a warm breeze to join the chorus.