Uit: One Day
„Friday 15TH July 1988
Rankeillor Street, Edinburgh
‘I suppose the important thing is to make some sort of difference,’ she said. ‘You know, actually change something.’
‘What, like “change the world”, you mean?’
‘Not the whole entire world. Just the little bit around you.’
They lay in silence for a moment, bodies curled around each other in the single bed, then both began to laugh in low, pre-dawn voices. ‘Can’t believe I just said that,’ she groaned. ‘Sounds a bit corny, doesn’t it?’
A bit corny.’
‘I’m trying to be inspiring! I’m trying to lift your grubby soul for the great adventure that lies ahead of you.’ She turned to face him. ‘Not that you need it. I expect you’ve got your future nicely mapped out, ta very much. Probably got a little flow-chart somewhere or something.’
‘So what’re you going to do then? What’s the great plan?’
‘Well, my parents are going to pick up my stuff, dump it at theirs, then I’ll spend a couple of days in their flat in London, see some friends. Then France-‘
‘Then China maybe, see what that’s all about, then maybe onto India, travel around there for a bit-‘
‘Traveling,’ she sighed. ‘So predictable.’
‘What’s wrong with travelling?’
‘Avoiding reality more like.’
‘I think reality is over-rated,’ he said in the hope that this might come across as dark and charismatic.
She sniffed. ‘S’alright, I suppose, for those who can afford it. Why not just say “I’m going on holiday for two years”? It’s the same thing.’
‘Because travel broadens the mind,’ he said, rising onto one elbow and kissing her.
‘Oh I think you’re probably a bit too broad-minded as it is,’ she said, turning her face away, for the moment at least. They settled again on the pillow. ‘Anyway, I didn’t mean what are you doing next month, I meant the future-future, when you’re, I don’t know…’ She paused, as if conjuring up some fantastical idea, like a fifth dimension. ‘…Forty or something. What do you want to be when you’re forty?’
‘Forty?’ He too seemed to be struggling with the concept. ‘Don’t know. Am I allowed to say “rich”?’
‘Just so, so shallow.’
‘Alright then, “famous”.’ He began to nuzzle at her neck. ‘Bit morbid, this, isn’t it?’
‘It’s not morbid, it’s…exciting.’
David Nicholls (Hampshire, 30 november 1966)
Uit: The Poetics of Removable Presence in the Work of Damian Loeb
„In the virtual office space of today quickly becoming tomorrow and both quickly becoming yesterday, we are all removable. The staff, the employed cadre of individuals presently before our eyes, is removable. Though their presence has at some point been requested or solicited or made possible by their own devices (if they are the party in need), they are in any context the human contents of such space and are each replaceable by their attainable commensurate. Furthermore, so too removable in all probability is the company they are in as this firm may only be fulfilling a momentary need in a temporary economy (or only a perceived need at that). Both the actors and the location are replaceable and are easily removed. The painter Damian Loeb in his young career has taken these occupational precepts and played an aesthetic variation of the vocational conditions, thereby rendering him the poet/painter of a world in which both everyone and everywhere is but a key stroke or a mouse click from being photoshopped away.
Damian Loebb, The Shadow
This simulated type of human environ (taken to its comic extreme in Peter Weir’s 1998 film The Truman Show) far from being a new phenomenon had its origins in the socio-economic landscape created by an arbitrary; invisible, and omni present creative force (the creation known as Utopia by its architect Sir Thomas More). The simulated quality of our lives is so pronounced that it seems that people vanish like browsed web pages. When people step off the stage of existence the human mind in this era of epic replication may be only able to register them as if they were in an ongoing movie. This may lead people to begin to question whether other people even existed in the material world at all. Is it all just film, the predominant metaphor of our age?
In Loeb’s first exhibition at the uptown space of dealer Mary Boone in 2000, the then twenty-something painter offered a series of canvases whose environs were settings mostly lifted from other’s photos and populated by actors of the painter’s choosing. Subsequently, in his second exhibition (again at Mary Boone’s Fifth Avenue space) he offered a narrative featuring a young Asian woman on-the-run traveling across a series of canvases whose scenery was of prefabricated origin. (These and all other Damian Loeb paintings may be seen on the web site http://www.damianloeb.com.)„
Lee Klein (New York, 30 november 1965)
Uit: Falling Leaves
„My eldest brother Gregory had a sunny personality and the infectious ability to turn ordinary occasions into merry parties. His joie de vivre endeared him to many people. Being the eldest Son in China meant that he was the favourite of Father as well as of our grandparents. I remember him, full of mischief, gazing with rapt fascination at a long, black hair blowing in and out of the right nostril of snoring Ye Ye one hot afternoon. Finally Gregory could no longer resist the temptation. Skilfully, he pinched the hair ever so tightly between his thumb and index finger during the next exhalation. There was a tantalizing pause. Ye Ye finally inhaled while Gregory doggedly hung on. The hair was wrenched from its root and Ye Ye awoke with a yell. Gregory was chased by Ye Ye brandishing a feather duster but managed, as usual, to escape.
On the whole, Gregory ignored James and me because we were too young to be interesting playmates. He was always surrounded by friends his own age. He did not enjoy studying but, like Grandmother, excelled in games of chance such as bridge. Good with numbers, he occasionally taught us younger ones neat mathematical tricks, roaring with laughter at his own cleverness.
Of all my siblings, it was Edgar I feared the most. He bullied James and me and used us as punchbags to vent his frustration. He ordered us around to perform his errands and grabbed our share of toys, candies, nuts, watermelon seeds and salted plums. He did not distinguish himself at school and was deeply insecure, though he possessed enough fortitude to maintain a passing grade.
My san ge (third elder brother) James was my hero and only friend. We used to play together for hours and developed a telepathic closeness, confiding to one another all our dreams and fears. With him, I could discard my vigilance and I needed that haven desperately. Throughout our childhood, it was immensely comforting to know that I could always turn to him for solace and understanding.“
Adeline Yen Mah (Tianjin, 30 november 1937)
De Nederlandse dichter Reinier de Rooie werd geboren op 30 november 1961 in Hengelo. In de jaren ’80 en ’90 publiceerde hij drie dichtbundels: De vreemdeling verlangt, Het lied van de kinderlokker en Wederiks ingewand. Momenteel werkt hij aan een vierde bundel: Nanoen. N een afwezigheid van 25 jaar is hij in 2006 weer teruggekeerd naar Hengelo, waar hij werkzaam is als beheerder en programmamaker van de Kunst sociëteit Lambooijhuis. In dat kader was hij organisator van de poëziemanifestatie Hengelo (O) Hoort!. Hij liet talrijke dichters naar Hengelo komen om uit hun werk voor te dragen. Hij treedt geregeld op bij poëziemanifestaties en publiceert gedichten in verschillende literaire tijdschriften. Hij was in 2007 initiator van het Stadsdichterschap Hengelo
dat de hel ons aanvaardt ondermaans
en van armoe doorlucht
staat vervat in de krant als een hoedje
‘s ochtends vroeg van plezier op de mat
ik ontwaak en beschouw
de woorden van confucius
hoe waar en wat zich paart
mits strottenhoofd klaar kronkelt
rond de knal van een koperen k
de oevers van wat stroomt omvat
de leugenaars zijn onder ons zo alledaags
onschuldig als een zacht vallend blad
tot humus van nerf en nevel
waarop het kind de taal vergaard
tot het uit in een kras langs de kim
Reinier de Rooie (Hengelo, 30 november 1961)