Lippard is standing in the middle of the room. In front of her is a table, and on the table is a pile of papers. Around is a circle of fans. And around the fans you find us. The audience. We are there to see her performance Reading for Fans.
Reads Lippard. Then she turns the buttons on the mixing table in front of her, and sends the sound of her own voice in delay while she keeps reading.
The internet is 45% instructions, 45% distractions, 10% cat videos
The internet is 45% destructions, 45% erections, 10% cat videos
The internet is 45% appropriaton, 45% repetition, 10% cat videos
The internet is 45% paypal, 45% penpal, 10% cat videos
The internet is 45% life, 45% second life, 10% cat videos
The internet is 45% male, 45% mail, 10% cat videos
Her voice is firm. It dominates the room we are sitting in, and within a short period of time it also dominates our consciousness. Like if her words takes over the the places where our thoughts normally flow.
Lippards assistant is walking around us. He is dressed in a slightly bad fitted suit. His pants are a bit to large. The tie is loose. Lippard herself is dressed in a white shirt and beige pants. Her shirt has the price-tag hanging from the collar. On her feet she has high-heeled shoes. On the back of her shirt two yellow post its are stuck to the white fabric. The same post-its are attached to the fans around her.
The assistants telephone calls. He is stressed, and uncertain about what he should do. He carries a coffee over to Lippard, but she tells him it is the wrong coffee. She then asks for a cappuccino. The assistant walks in circles around us. He is trying to shred papers in a shredding machine, but he pushes a pile of papers over instead. They fall to the floor. He waters the office-plants with water from see-through blue plastic-bottles. They have appealing labels.
Be on time.
Be in time.
Be at time.
Be under time.
Be aware of time.
Be no friend of time.
Be no friend of mine.
One week after the performance I randomly run into the assistant during a dinner. He is wearing different clothing, but he is easy to recognize. He tells me that he was nervous during the performance. It was not an act he needed to put on. Then he tells me that his phone has a function that made him able to call himself. He took out his phone. It was old. He had found the function when he was looking for Snake, or some other game he could play in situations where he did not know what else to do. I asked whether he had ever called himself to get out of a difficult situation. A meeting with an ex. Or another conversation he wanted to get away from. He said no. Then he showed me that when he called himself, he shows up as unknown caller.
SOME PEOPLE ARE JUST NOT LIKE OTHER PEOPLE
SOME PEOPLE ARE SOME PEOPLES EX-PEOPLE
THAT DOESN’T MEAN THAT SOME PEOPLE DON’T EXIST
Lippard is at the same dinner. I asked her how Bob was doing. Bob is Lippards cat. Some months earlier I offered to take care of him while Lippard was traveling. I did not hear from her, but when we ran into each-other on an opening, some weeks later, she told me she was sorry she had not answered. A friend, who recently lost a dog she had had since she was a child, had said she would like to watch Bob. The friend felt lonely. Lippard did not know anything about my situation, she said. But she assumed her other friend needed Bob more.
Shipment dispatched from temporary location. Thursday 20th May 11:20 am: Shipment is delivered. If the cat survives, it remembers only being alive.
We try to meet at one of Lippards day-jobs to talk about her work. Like many other artists she needs more than one job to make it work. And she is short of time. When we met up she was preparing a performance at UKS in Oslo. In addition she had some meetings arranged shortly after I arrived. The Yoga-instructor she collaborates with had been forced to withdraw from the performance at UKS because of illness in her family. Lippard was looking for a replacement. But one person can not replace another. And it was not easy to find anyone to take the yoga-instructors place.
In addition to this; the gallery where she works was filled up with people. It was easy to see that most days there were calm. This was an exception. One art collector. Two tourists. One drunk man. They all wanted attention. Lippard offered med chocolate cookies while I waited. She said she did not know what they contained. Her boss had left them with a note that said he had bought them from a hippie. He, himself, had not dared to try them.
It would be a mistake to argue with your boss the day before he or she evaluates your performance, but to forget an important step in an assigned task would be an error. Although these nouns are used interchangeably in many contexts, a mistake is usually caused by poor judgment or a disregard of rules or principles (: it was a mistake not to tell the truth at the outset), while an error implies an unintentional deviation from standards of accuracy or right conduct (: a mathematical error).
I also said no thank you to the cookies.
We did not have much time to talk. When I got home and turned on my computer to write notes from the few words we had exchanged, Lippard had sent me an e-mail. She said she was sorry she did not have any time. The drunk man started analyzing how I wrote. He was hanging over the keyboard, she continued. I had to throw him out. Why are all jobs so bizarre? Or is it the people In the world? Linked to the e-mail was a video of Nigella Lawson baking pears.
I answered by sending her a link to a sound-file where Alice B. Toklas reads her own recipe for Hashish Fudge.
Every word when said with the right tone
can become a piece of poetry
Every crumb can become a piece of cake – take.
Towards the end of Lippards performance the fans were turned on by her assistant. Yellow post-its blew around the room. The ones sitting on the first seat could feel the wind in their face. The assistant was still running around, but the chaos did not seem to make him more stressed.
As the applause calmed down I went over to Lippard to congratulate.
“You still have the price-tag hanging on your shirt.”
“Some things are going back to where they came from.”
Hanne Lippard „Reading for fans“, KunstWerke,
Auguststraße 69, 10117 Berlin, 2. 10. 14
Hanne Lippard, Doppelseite aus dem Buch „Nuances of No“, Broken Dimanche Press, Berlin 2013
Hanne Lippard „Reading for Fans“, Courtesy: KunstWerke, Berlin