THINGS THAT SHATTER -Affective Encounters, Shadow Traces, and Resonant Naturecultures in the Anthropocene – Part 2 2020

September 3, 2020

04:35AM The first laughing kookaburra is calling. Waning gibbous full moon is setting. A moon twilight southwest. East, barely nautical twilight. A dawn in this bird’s call. Now (4:36 AM), a lyric roll from a magpie. They are awake. I am awake. I have been rousing early, 3, 4, AM, to read, write, listen to the first light come earlier. Check the fire is still glowing. Will there be a frost? Will you make the 6:28 train? Time is slipping by this year slow and fast, still and pulsing, undone from compartments of shared external routine. Time has been routed to the internals. Room. Body. Mask. Cell. Subcellular ex-machinic process. E-motion and viral ontopower.

Time’s ontopower. Ontopower time.

Nautical twilight is a crack of light on a horizon. A sliver enough to suffuse a silhouette of a before and after. Between cosmic dark and sol light, slumber and rise. Now it is September with fresh warmth and aromas forgotten during winter’s lock up and retreat, kookaburras greet this crack within. Rejoice the crack within.


The Crack Begins Within. “The slow opening of the 11th Berlin Biennale began a year ago, and since then it has been exploring the many cracks we carry, the fissures that keep us apart and those that bring us together. Many of the invited artists and participants in the Biennale have been exploring and practicing this, each in their own artistic terms, in their own contexts and temporalities. Making space to share these experiences demanded that we slow down the unsustainable pace of biennials and forgo the expectation of a singular concept, a novel idea to once again fix things into place. When the coronavirus pandemic hit the European fortress several months ago, it felt for a moment that the earth wanted to stand still. The virus exposed the cruelty of everyday life and the inequality endured by the vast majority of people imprisoned by patriarchal capitalism. As we write, many of those whose works are present in the exhibition are in the South and continue living under lockdown, in places where professional healthcare is a luxury, safeguarding only the privileged.

“The crack begins within” are words borrowed from poet Iman Mersal. She explores the many ghosts of motherhood, tearing apart its contemporary morals. She begins with the refusal to become the sacrificed, the “egg that the newborn breaks en route to life.” She rummages in the crevices of this dissent, exploring the many ways that within all the brokenness the mother and child carry, there is pain and beauty, mourning and living. As the epilogue of the Biennale The Crack Begins Within calls out the fallacy of claiming for oneself the destruction of the old and the birthing of the new, refloated so many times by the white fathers as a new scaffolding to secure the continuity of their decaying structures. This is the violence that surrounds us, and that we are a part of.

The Crack Begins Within comprises the overlapping experiences of the artworks gathered in the exhibition, breathing together, touching and moving one another. It is a testament to the powerful collective stories they tell, the work they do, and the things they shatter. The epilogue is an exercise of mutual recognition, an acknowledgement of the cracks in the system, of those broken by it and their struggles. As the carceral politics of compartmentalization are cracked open, art will not disappear into nothingness, but flow into everythingThe Crack Begins Within is a nod to the solidarity in vulnerability of the healers and carers, the fighters, their fractures, and their power.” []


What say you, dear bird friend?

“Move. From stories and things that matter. We have done that, you have done that, ad nauseum. Things that shatter. That they shatter. This is time to get real, real-worlders who only talk of “the real world”. The privilege of claiming one world for yourselves to spruik as one for all, so all for one; mirror your normativities as the compartment of the common. Speak as we, and reproduce the we, colonise and extract to feed your we.”

Things that shatter. The things they shatter.


© Louise Boscacci 2020