ANAGRAM
2010, Amsterdam

Collaboration with Vincent van de Wijngaard.

Anagram is an imaginary city composed out of cardboard boxes, pencil and ink. Anagram shows the remains of memories and associations of cities that exist. In a live performance my shadow, plays the role of a traveler visiting this imaginary city.

My body interacts with the two projections used for this performance; the projected film of the cardboard city as well as an empty screen creating shadows onto the wall beside and on top of the cardboard city film.

A live “voice over” reads out the thoughts and observations of this shadow -traveler.

I arrive by train late at night.

Empty streets covered in black shadows.
The city is asleep.

Travellers disappear into the dark.
Some are waiting outside, leaning against a wall of a cafe, across the road from the railway station.

Except from these travellers, the city seems deserted.

A taxi brings me to my hotel at number 303.

The outskirts of the city resembles all the others I have ever seen.
High-rise buildings form monotonuous colours and shapes.
The buildings are surrounded by grey streets and patches of dried-up grass.
People live and work here.

The facade of this skyscraper-like building is made out of glass.
In the early morning light, the cityscape is reflected in its surface.
I can see myself but I wonder if anyone  can see me.

A blind man stands on the corner of a street.
He seems to be listening intently to the surrounding sounds: people, different kinds of footsteps, cars, music, dogs and other animals.

I am lost. All buildings look familiar.

My shadow follows me like an intangible friend.
The sun will guide us.

On the third floor of an apartment building, a cat sits quietly behind a window.
From  a distance, she observes a woman walking her dog, the rustling leaves on a tree, a bird alighting on a branch.

I can hear distant voices, I don’t know where they come from.

In a quiet street –
I see a man shouting and waving to invisible people.
I quickly leave this place.

In these streets, I feel the ground vibrate under my feet. A complicated network of railways runs underground.
Orange, red, green and blue underground lines weave and knot places and people together.

The museum is taller than most other buildings surrounding it.
It has no windows – just a grey wall and a large entrance.
The entrance has a staircase and doric columns on each side.
The museum has an exclusive collection of rare antiquities.

The museum is located next to a half-moon-shaped plaza.
Along one curved side of the plaza people sit down in the sunlight and stare into space.

From a rooftop I gaze into the streets. A car stops in front of a store.
A man gets out, he lights a cigarette and enters the building opposite to the museum.

I cross the plaza and walk past the museum again. Looking at the long shadows and sunlight; It must be nearly five o’clock by now.

Number 300 – a note on the entrance says: ‘Jaques de Saint Vaines – please knock three times.’

I am very close to my hotel now.

A lamppost has small scars as if something hard hits the iron repeatedly, day in and day out.

The lamppost’s long shadow caresses the wall of a mysterious building.
Sharp sunlight falls in a narrow alley next to it.

Close to a construction-site my eyes meet the eyes of an older woman passing by.
She carries a heavy bag.
I stop and look over my shoulder. She turns right, heading for the main plaza.
I keep walking. There are no mechanical sounds to be heard here, far away from the intestines of the city.
I listen, it is silent.