Dear Kristina,

The problem with writing is never that words are lacking, as it often is being said. The problem is that the words are too many, and that they all want to be written. Words come in swarms. They fly buzzing around the text. They crawl back and forth over the paper surface.

Words can be waved aside, but they will always come back again. Unlike objects and their qualities, words are never exhausted, and they cannot be broken down into the strange matter of which they are made. This is, I guess, one major difference between your work and mine. But the fundamental problem of plentitude is the same: that there is too much.

If we ever will understand anything in this place of plentitude, in this mess of words and objects, we have to clear it up. During this process of waving aside words and getting rid of superfluous stuff we might also happen to communicate something.

That is, if we're lucky, or if we work really hard, as in your case.

To me it seems as if you ceaselessly persist to clear up the mess we live in. I have therefore come to think about your works as outcomes of this operation of removing, displacing, and erasing. They are the effects of an ongoing and highly productive anti-production.

In the conversation about your work, we talked a lot about violence. It is undeniably an essential aspect, but it is also one that might hide others–that are less obtrusive, but not less important.
Isn't defenselessness such an aspect?

We didn't mention this in the conversation, but it dawned on me afterwards. Now I see defenselessness almost everywhere, particularly in how the works look back at me behind the mechanisms of self-defence. I'm actually surprised that I didn't notice this aspect earlier. But maybe that is simply because I didn't want to see it.

Defenselessness can be even more frightening than violence. It scares us to death. Some even say that they'd rather die than becoming defenseless in the sense of being incapable of taking care of oneself.

Everyone who has been thoroughly beaten up knows that the feeling of being incapable of defending oneself (or not even trying to) is close to the feeling of being useless. But it also borders to the feeling of being powerful. The kind of power that resides in the refusal of playing a game that someone else has started. After all, there can be no joy at all, only humiliation, to win against someone who doesn't even try to participate in the game.

All the best,
Jens

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Published in Matousch, editors Jens Soneryd, Stephen Truax. Kalejdoskop förlag (2017).

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