use your words

Three weeks out from the Handshake Collaborative exhibition and I flick Henriette a quick email and ask, “Are we collaborating?” in that ‘are we collaborating, yes I think we are’ kind of way.

Our language differences make the familiar unfamiliar and she does not pick up on my flippancy, instead wondering if I am asking what it is that we are doing because I sure didn’t know.

Uneven interpretations like these also feature in the work we are making and I am enjoying the gap left open where our intentions don’t quite meet up. When Henriette sends a poem in German I translate it using the internet as it is the only tool I have. Does this word work here?, I ask. Is that pronoun better here? Or here? I am never quite certain but there are enough times where the words are just so that all the thinking is replaced by a slight ache in my heart. The thing swirling around in that gap, which I can’t quite grasp or put into words, is the thing I like the most.


photograph by Henriette Schuster


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