The following text is part of a script written for the ‘Embassy Embassy’ video installations, Berlin, 2010. It belongs, therefore, to a particular enivironment, duration and adventure-within, which involved each visitor in an expedition to the former embassies of Iraq and Australia in East Germany. In that performance a key to open the now emptied and locked concete ‘type buildings’ was lent with a map and audio guide. The journey each person made alone in Pankow cannot be reproduced on the page. For exhibition documentation, see: collasus.com/iraqembassy/Khadija.html and nowlook.at/PDF/selection%20of%20recent%20work.pdf
For Tarkovski from Tschaikovskistrasse
open to my entering
your vacancy –
your emptiness usually witnessed from outside
now entering vacancy becomes
fear and astonishment
quietness particular to trespassing
how could you be emptied now?
a crisis? or just the erosive weather?
I am climbing your façade –
green and no longer vertical
sculptural in the holds –
launching upwards to some entrance
seems possible I am surprised at how
green and luscious in my dream
clambering into you as into citizenship
Your nation has an ascending peculiarity in its narration.
I am looking for the building I remembered. A concrete skeleton, three storeys high, with outdoor terraces on the upper floors, and a central staircase. I’m not entering as a diplomat, I’m stalking, coming through the basement, through a tennis trainer’s changing room. This is Russian Ark, but minus the Russians, their aristocracy and art. Only an arc remains.
The arc is the same for every place, the same concentric circles. In Islamic architecture the circle is the basis of all other designs. Could be religious, or decorative. For the Australian embassy, the same motif of tiles glued on in circles seems like some poor appropriation of the iconography for nomadic signs, for water holes and meeting points – a honey dreaming – the central mark, not in the Islamic sense of a whole or perfect God
that has no human form
but as an ever-present story of an ancestor’s mark
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