HARRY PYE’s POSTCARD FROM LONDON
NIGHT ON EARTH
ENCOUNTERS WITH POWER
MY VIDEO COLLECTION
SEDIMENTS OF SPACES AND STORIES
INTERVIEW WITH ANDRES EHIN
sediments of spaces and stories
it is a common pleasure to stroll around in unknown places and pick up stones. walking at a beach where you haven’t been before forces you to take the analytic glasses of a close observer: you dive into the amorphous world of seashells, beautifully abrased pieces of wood from oh so distant shores, stones as a part of the unknown surface you are about to discover. even broken glass gets soft and cloudy. fragments of this experience will proceed straight into your pocket. but only the winners of the beauty contest will travel with you in the airplane back home.
for a while the stones keep on reciting poems about their beach on your nighttable, and work on display in your personal spaces as visual hyperlinks. one click, and you are back. for the future, dusty boxes of wood or cardboard will be the archives of the beaches and the mountaintops, of the deserts and creeks.
and of course, they do not recite poems about their beaches and windy heights, but essentially about yourself. about your relation to spaces, the fact that you bowed down to the soil and picked up the stone with your hand. this is the smallest personal dialogue with space.
it is a common pleasure to stroll around in unknown cities and pick up tickets. flight tickets to and fro, entry tickets, metro tickets, buss tickets. (i do keep a nine-punchhole soodustalong from tallinn and remember when i got hugged by a bearded bussdriver with sunglasses, who did not understand me, neither did i, when asking about the way to the beach in pirita.)
the exotic form of the tickets, their colors, their unknown language, their unknown writing. those sparrows of paradise go straight to an envelope alongside with the stonearchives, if they do not take a nap in the portemonnaie.
taking paths uphill, climbing the windy peaks. it is common to pile up stones, to build a mark with the people that passed this place before for the people to follow. cairns require movements and are frozen paths. they are as personal as impersonal manifestations of taken tracks, piled up memories of people passing, archaic architectures.
myths surround those piles of stones: throughout the north, they serve to honor the stonepeople, the trolls, who inhabit them. in the stones, under the stones. you caress them when piling the stones. and they leave you alone. tibetan and nepalese cairns are built of stones with engraved mantras, ornated with flags spreading good wishes. every cairn is surrounded by the passer-bys reciting wishes and mantras, blessings for the way. greek mythology had the cairns dedicated to hermes, god of the paths, crossings and doorsteps. there are rituals where you take stones from the valley, from the foot of the mountain, to place them onto the topmost cairn.
i wonder about the cairns at home. about the boxes they are in. about the photographic cairns in envelopes and brown cardboard vessels, the digital cairns in files and cds. i imagine livingrooms with piled stones. why is the photowall of the parents in a triangular shape?
i wonder about mountains of buss tickets piled in the streets. what if travellers would bring their homestones with them instead of taking the stones back home? what if a good restaurant would receive stones in front of the facade instead of stars in books? piles from exotic stones from all over the world or mountains of roasted almonds in front of olde hansa, decent piles of stones in front of von krahl. commuters with a stone in their hand. tokyo has a metrostation where 2.000.000 people pass each day. in a normal working week, this would mean one cairn of 12.000.000 stones. 52 times 12.000.000? i will remember huge stony cairns everywhere in the cities, carefully placed by the hands of people passing.
is a Weimar-based architect. He is thinking about houses mainly in the air and stones basically on the ground and seeing here the paradox and utopia of architecture.