Today (1): Poop
A thought that crosses my mind every now and then, usually while pooping: how strange is it, we, humans, animals, organisms, being able to move, think, talk and yes also defecate like machines. Surely that is really bizarre! That you eat something, and that your body then processes it in various ways, and then excretes the waste products; and if you are lucky, it all happens fully automatically too.
Well, many people are having a hard time, but if you are someone for whom everything is still working fine: congratulations, lucky one! Maybe you could put that message (not the one you just pooped out, no) on a tile and better yet, on many tiles, your phone, your desktop, your I don't know what, so that you realise it more often. That you have been extremely lucky, so far.
And maybe, just maybe, you could then think a little more often about all those people who have not been so lucky and whose bodies and/or minds (don't forget the latter!) are flawed to whatever degree. And that it would be nice, if you took them into account a bit more often, in the things you do, invent, make, introduce, regulate, abolish, cut out, check, calculate, count, save.
Just a thought.
While entering the °Celsius tydschryvens, it shamefully strikes me that I then had very little awareness of the position of women. Actually, the only female poet who gets to speak is myself; otherwise they are only men... I find that really incomprehensible now. However, apparently I learned a few things on the way to now, I'll think positively relabelling.
I can still remember an angry woman hissed 'traitor!' to me and then quickly left, in the Groningen music café Koekkoek, where I had recited that night. My text was not intended as such, and perhaps if we could have talked about it, there would have been understanding from both sides, but it was so unexpected to me that the moment I realized what she had said, she had already gone. Maybe she was right. At the time I thought it was unfair. Now I don't really know, because what exactly did I recite? I know one story, about a pretty unpleasant treatment of a female official - a story that was in fact about the oppressive system of the unemployment industry, and I told about a woman because in my experience at the time it were always women in the social services, who treated me in a nasty way. That didn't really work well, I understand that now.
Which also didn't help: the audience was almost all men, who all loved it, and eagerly bought my self-published volume (I came home the next day with a bag full of coins).
And now I come across all these things, and I could choose to skip all those men, and not put them in my archive. But I don't think that's really fair. It was as it was.
As a counterpart, I will have to do my very best in the near future, for women in poetry and art.
Today (4): Hotel Earth
Why do I keep dreaming that I am in hotels? I have been to hotels, as a child and later in life several times, but not very often. Would it be the same as dreaming with some regularity that I am driving a car? While I don't have a driver's license or a car, but I have had driving lessons. Afterwards, when I have experienced some adventure behind the wheel, I always have the idea that that car or driving the car represents 'directing' my life. Which I've always failed enormously at, so that's right, in terms of disasters that always play out in those dreams (malfunctioning brakes, trains rushing from 2 sides! you probably know it).
Speaking of trains, I also often dream that I am on a train. First with friends and people, and gradually everyone disappears from that train, except me. And then the train often goes faster and faster, until the inevitable derailment and I wake up sweating again. Or train stations! So many dreams of how i totally get lost while just trying to travel from one city to another.
Those hotels, that seems like the same kind of metaphor to me. It often starts with me dreaming that I have a new house, and I wander through the empty rooms, often losing my way. Usually there are options somewhere: either the dream turns into the hotel dream, or it turns into the squat dream. The squat dream can also take several paths: either that I live there, or that I am there for a mini-festival.
In the hotel dreams I wander through endless corridors, where all kinds of strange things happen, people here and there, dormitories, large rooms, strange curtains. It seems to be about the fact that I'm never really at home anywhere. Or maybe it's on another level: that we're all just guests here on Earth.
Today (5): Serial writer
Contemplatinating a bit about this writing project.
Yesterday, I wrote Flat: situation 1
and posted it on Mastodon. There actually turned out to be people reading it, and one person asked me, how the story ended. And I understand that. I had left you guys with a huge cliffhanger. I reassured him, but now, a day later, I don't think I should have.
This autofictography is not like a book, with a beginning, a middle and an end. Although there will obviously be an end one day, but that's another story (which I won't be able to retell then, unfortunately). Radio Klotestad is the story of my life. And in a life, nothing is ever completely over and done with. That's one of the reasons I write so patchy. A second reason is: a book is never written in 1 day either. That takes months, sometimes years of writing and deleting and rewriting. And that's pretty much what you read here: the newly written stuff, sometimes stuff I wrote longer ago, in which I deleted and rewrote. And it could just be, that something I wrote yesterday is gone tomorrow to be rewritten. As far as I'm concerned, by the way, I'd rather not, because I have so much incredibly bizarre new things to write that I don't have time for all that. But in principle, it could be done.
It's like writing a book live, with you, the audience watching me. I understand the questions, but I think I will refer to this explanation from now on. :-)
Perhaps you should think of it as a series, and then as we used to see it: once a week an episode; you didn't know then how it would continue. Here, the episodes are often daily, but also about something completely different. And so you have to wait and see how the plot of that other episode will turn out. Well, that's life. My life, at least, how is yours? It seems the same to me, but I'm not sure.
Should you wish to respond to this, your reaction - if friendly and not coercive - is always welcome, via Mastodon or email > see about
As for yesterday's piece: scary Clogsman
will return in another story; when, I don't know. I have nothing planned. And that's another challenge in itself: all those memories tumbling over each other to be described first.... quite exhausting. Then again: as an autistic person, I am somewhat used to it. It is my normal state of being, only now it is perhaps even worse, because now I actually do something with it, all those stories stirring in my brain.
Where is this all going to lead? No idea, it's a mega huge and weird project. Interesting at the same time: what am I going to encounter on this rather unexplored path? Myself, anyway, that much is clear to me. Angry acquaintances, hurt strangers, unspoken feelings being brought up? Above all, I'm hoping for some very clear common threads, over time. Storylines twisting through everything, characters popping up here and there. Discomfort and shame and difficulties and to overcome them. Insights that are hopefully going to be of interest to the reader too. In short, the intricacies of a life unfolding for everyone, in the form of a tangled art project.
Today (6): Street poetry
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The idea is to translate a poem today, and of course I can't just do that just like that, it has to be done extensively. So until the next update.
Today (8): Gone.
Doing too many things at the same time, and the things i should do, i totally forget.... sort of. I mean, they are somewhere at the back of my mind, and my mind says: stay there! Don't move! I don't want to see you! Only a few times a day, it creeps from underneath some white brainmass to the surface of my thoughts and just as it starts to open its little brainmouth, Brainmaster screams: Get out! Get down! Shut up!
And so little thought is tired, which makes me tired as well i guess.
Today i went to some shops, quickly in and out, wearing a mask. Also on the ferry (the only free way to get to the other side of town) i was the only one wearing a mask. At the trainstation i saw one young woman with a mask. She was with an elderly lady, who did not wear a mask.
I still have the cold eye, i think, because a group of young men stood jokingly in front of me, one was looking at me and about to say something, but shut his mouth when he met my killer eye. Funny ofcourse. But it is so utterly ridiculous, how not a soul... okay, how only a few souls wear masks in a fucking pandemic. I keep repeating this, and i know there are many more people that totally agree with me. But (logically) there are only to be seen on the internet.
We are gone. Totally gone from all the restaurants, the clubs, the shops, the café's, the theatres, the cinema's. I guess no one wants us back? If they did, they should make an effort, wear fucking masks, care for clean air in their spaces and communicate with us.
Inversion of the Untold (1 of a series)
Today (10): False flat
I thought I was on schedule, but no. Too much drawing, probably, and started an attempt to move my entire portfolio to here. Madness. I'm a fool, and for a while I thought people loved me for that, but where are they now?
This morning, after peeing, my first waking thought was of someone who was boosted into my timeline yesterday, someone who once smacked himself on the chest because he wanted to stay positive, unlike "the other person" who complained so much. And then the time I was in a support group for autistic women, and couldn't come twice because of i was moving, and when I came back it turned out they'd made the strange decision 'to keep things positive'. I wondered what that meant. And how do you keep something positive when your life is a succession of bad things? How? And how can I talk to people, express myself, get involved, if I have to ask myself all the time, if what I'm saying is positive enough?
It all sounds very positive, being positive. But isn't it a form of wanting to control things? The idea that if you act positively enough, everything in your life will automatically become positive. And what is that, positive? Everything happy and shiny and cheerful and nice? While a lot of things are just really shitty. Or do people mean by positive, that something is really shitty, but that you don't say anything about it, how shitty you feel, but that you give it a positive spin, so that others don't feel shitty about it?
Positive is a kind of false flat. You think it's positive to relabel everything positively. But meanwhile people are snowed under because their problems are not listened to. One gets lost in the positive bullshit, one disappears somewhere in the back of a drawer, behind a cupboard, a front door, a pile of rubbish.
Positivos are often also people with many privileges, and aren't aware of that. People who go out again, go on holiday, have many friends and family around them, have a healthy body, enough money, a good house in a pleasant environment. I find it extremely unfortunate that from such a position you feel compelled to pass your fucking damn judgment on others, who have been struggling with so many more things that you don't even know about, and they're doing their utmost to survive, clinging to the tiniest straws, trying to show people what it's like.
Yes, I've been disappointed in a lot of people lately, with lately probably embracing pretty much my whole life I'm afraid [insert a smiley emoji here, just to make it look not too bleak].
I am currently writing a story about one of my previous applications for social benefits. It is about, among other things, an assignment that I had to carry out, I had to write a kind of biography. Turns out I kept that monstrosity too. So I will publish it - anonymously as much as possible - because that is the intention of an autofictography with an archive function, such as Radio Klotestad is. So stay glued! and very negative!
Today (11): Motion.
Maybe I would like to move again. Back to the coast (sorry! for the possible very annoying earworm I am giving you with this). I long for the dunes, for the beach, the rolling sea with the skies, the clouds, a view, the space.
Because what do I still have to do in a city, where I am no longer welcome anywhere?
Not that it will be any different in the next city. But if I can live near the dunes and the sea, where there are also forests, more nature, then I can be outside, and walk, and have more peace around me than here.
Unfortunately, I only have a proletarian budget, and, like many, I am at the mercy of the housing shortage; not a good combination if you want to move. Now, the rules have changed though: if you want to move, you have to respond to a lot of houses, then your points score and thus the chance of getting a house increases. But: I don't want to live in every house. Nobody wants to. And you are not going to respond anyway if a property is not what you are looking for. I think this new system is only going to work for those with very high housing needs, people who are happy with anything. Anyway, we'll see.
I also recently started looking at the home exchange pages again, which have changed but are still a drama.
Somehow I'm just hoping for a small miracle.
Today (13): Measure days
Tomorrow one year ago
it was today
and still today feels
like the day after tomorrow one year ago
Today (15): BS
Strange dream last night, one part was about me being (again) in some kind of hotel, with others, something about an exhibition and the curator asked me for my social media links, and i told her i was nowhere anymore, only in the Fediverse and everyone who was there came to stand around us, and they all fired questions at me: what's that then, what's it like there, what do you think of it, etcetera.
It is not entirely strange, that i have this dream, because i once experienced something similar, in 2010?, at a networking event for artists, in the passenger terminal in Amsterdam. I was experiencing pretty strange things there, but well, i usually do.
There was a big room, with large tables, and at each table was a guest, who would tell something about a particular topic, and you could then ask questions. Guests were well-known artists, gallery owners, other art professionals. With my autistic mind, this was quite tricky, because at the end of each 15-minute talk, a signal went and then you had to quickly move to another table of your choice, and i had repeatedly found that my wish tables were full, and then i had to quickly rejoin somewhere else.
That caused even more chaos than was going on in my already chaotic brain at the time, and i don't remember where i had joined. A lady was talking about CVs and portfolios and business cards and how they should all be done. And she talked a bit about social media, and then asked who was using it. I replied that i was on Twitter, and then the whole workshop went to pieces, because all the participants then fired their questions at me.
Afterwards, perhaps she was a bit annoyed because i was disrupting things, i got scolded because my business card was a completely unclear hell, according to her. I wanted to explain, that i like people to make a little effort for me, but that didn't quite come across. No art professional would want to spend time on me, with such a monstrosity.
That says something about those 'art professionals', i might say.
Another drama moment at that meeting. I had gone there with artist-colleague Bor Valtis, but he had moved away from me; suddenly i was face to face with the tall gallery owner Tic Terp, and i even dared to speak to him. It turned into a bit of an awkward conversation, as if he didn't really feel much like it, at one point he said something quite offensive, i don't remember what it was now, and i then said: okay, then i'll move on... Then he quickly recovered, and tried to glue the conversation back together. That was awkward enough, and then to make matters worse, a woman sailed by, she was the same size as him, they towered over me, so to speak, and they greeted each other intensely warmly and at length, and they didn't see me anymore, i wasn't introduced, suddenly i was invisible and i felt so small and unimportant and unloved. The memory makes me tear again.
At that moment i stood tall, and shuffled uncomfortably away from them, and then walked around a bit aimlessly, everything suddenly feeling so hostile. Many people can probably handle that, but I think it's harder for autistic people. We are not that bullshit resistant.
Vandaag (17): What is art - the Saatchi question (sept 2010)
Literal transcription of Page 1 of the two images:
What is art? (handwritten: (blogpost - saatchi)
September 9th, 2010
This is not the kind of question I usually ask, but it so happened that this question came across twice in just a few weeks time. Is it the spirit of the time, or is this question the wandering spirit itself?
A few weeks ago I came across this pressing question through the @saatchionline twitter account. Followers were encouraged to come up with some answers. And so they did.
@saatchionline retweeted the answers, so that other people could follow the conversation as well. Some of the answers I could still find on twitter:
Art is therapeutic.
Art is a powerful flow. It can overcome all obstacles in the way to deliver its message.
Art is fundamental-fun-and-mental.
Art is essential.
Art is a ripening fruit.
Art is expression of mind body and soul.
Well, I didn't get it. What were they going to do with all those answers? Cut & paste them into one holy sentence? As I watched the answers passing through my timeline, some black cloud started growing inside my head. It became bigger and bigger, until I couldn't coop any longer; I hád to sent this to @saatchionline:
Art seems to be everything but art.
I don't think @saatchionline retweeted this slightly critical twittery-tweet of miss Know-all from the nasty freaking Netherlands. What was i thinking? I remember I once received an email from the Saatchi online gallery. As I read the subject header my heart jumped a bit and there was this little tiny thought of hope and.... But hell no, they only wanted to know if I had sold my work through their website. No. I didn't. Sell it. At all. (perhaps because I am not represented by a famous gallery like Saatchi's?)
At this moment, something strange occurred. When I looked up some of the art quotes in the @saatchionline timeline on Twitter, I found this tweet:
@saatchionline: Homepage Artist of the Week Johanna Haagsman http://ow.ly/2aklh
What the.... I never knew this! This was tweeted somewhere in July. I guess they forgot to tweet or mail me... and I don't have a searchline opened on my name. Only famous people do that. I am not famous. Well, just for a week then. Without even knowing it! So this is how it must feel when you're dead and honoured posthumously... but then in reverse? It feels awkward, ánd honoured of course. Thank you @saatchionline! PS: the link isn't working anymore of course....
Now I've been invited to the artist's society 'Luce', which is a new initiative of the Yxie lab in Alkmaar, this coming Friday. A quotation from the invitation letter:
"...(a place) where we can come to other thoughts and where we can take risks in private.."
Here we will be discussing the same question: 'What is art?'. Well, first of all, why do you want to know? And what are you going to do with it?
By coincidence I found another answer to this question, in a leaflet an artist sent me for an upcoming opening. I will try to translate it:
"Art is besides the painting and drawing itself also the awakening of one's own surroundings and position, and urges one to develop a vision and proactive attitude by itself".
Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems to me that all answers are in fact ideals, people wánt it to be like that. So is it possible to come up with a more valid answer?
(handwritten in Dutch beneath this text is the translation from the leaflet:
(Beeldende) kunst is naast het schilderen en tekenen (here a line to a 'hm') zelf ook het bewust worden van de eigen omgeving en positie, en zet aan tot het ontwikkelen van een eigen visie en proactieve houding.)
Literal transcription of Page 2 of the two images:
(first part is a part of the Page 1 - because it's folded - i won't repeat that)
(handwritten (page 2))
Some months ago I struggled through a book called 'What do pictures want? The lives and loves of images' by WJT Mitchell (2005). Although I take a big leap here, I think it stated that in order to get to know the real meaning of images, first you should know what they want. This might also work for art then.
What does art want?
Art wants to be seen (heard/smelled etc.)
Art wants to be lived.
Art wants you to respond (even when it's just a micro-inch synaptic move inside your brain).
In other words: art wants to be human.
And, because only we, humans, make art, art is whatever man makes of it.
When putting those two issues together, I can only conclude that art is us. Art is human. Art is man.
I am interested in your opinions, so if you would like to respond, please do!
(beneath the folded paper is some drawing and a handwritten text about me playing piano and how the cats like that very much:
"Dus gisteren weer eens gespeeld. En vandaag weer, nog fijner dan gisteren. Hoewel gisteren met Takkie erbij ook wel erg leuk was. Liep ze steeds heel voorzichtig over de toetsen. Ze vind piano leuk. Gaapje en Swiebertje vonden het ook altijd leuk. Gaan ze ergens zitten luisteren, beetje doezelen, soms heel oplettend, dan weer wegdromend, maar wel altijd dichtbij."
The text is written on the drawing of some kind of prison building, a prisoner is throwing bread through the bars to the birds that fly by. The building seems to be surrounded by a sea, the sun is setting on the horizon.)
Today (18): Experiment
The moment i woke up this morning, i was thinking about what to do with the reprobate drawing, the ugly one i made recently. So i came up with this idea, inspired by my other crumpled designs, to cut it into two separate parts, then crumple it with some paint in it, and then flatten it. And then... wait and see what it turns out to be after one week of pressure by a pile of heavy art books.
Here a little photoshoot of this weird process. I might have used too much paint, so.. i don't know. In one week we'll know more.
And one week of patience. And i think next try will be without the paint.
Althought there was this huge pile of books in my living room, i kind of forgot to free the drawings from it.
When i did, i wasn't explicitly happy with the results:
But, then i thought i might make them into small sort of paintings, and cut them in rectangular shapes:
Result 1.2 (size: 8,5 x 7,5 cm)
Result 2.2 (size: 10,5 x 8 cm)
Now i like them much better. They are like little, delicate landscapes, where i would want to be in.
So the final result pleases me, and i will continue to make more. Only problem is: in order to show them, or even sell them, they must be framed, and of course with good quality museum glass, but that's very expensive. Now you probably say: but Hannah, the money you put in it, is returned when you sell it. And that's exactly where the problem is: am i gonna sell it? It's not like there are many people buying my work. Now i can hear you scream: but that's because you don't have a shop, you foolish artist! Well, many times in the past 20 years did i have a shop. Still: very little buyers. I went to markets with my artworks, spent 1000's of euro's to get it across... and some people bought some, but the costs are always much, much higher. To a point where i could not afford it anymore to spent money on those kind of sales activities.
That said: you can always contact me by email
to inquire about or buy my artworks. Yes, it is thát simple!
This is the back of the two little artworks: kind of pretty too, especially the one with the faint pink.
Next try i will reverse the way of folding, so the drawing should be on what is now the back... i think.