Excerpt from the third chapter ‘Talking about Possibilities’

“They want to tie a Clerical teacher by the leg to a chair and force him under the threat of a beating to recite the prayer ‘Our Father’ and ‘Ave Maria’ for six hours. Let’s hope he’ll be utterly sickened by it.”


“..he stood on the podium and, when the audience was looking forward expectantly to his jokes, sat down, slowly and deliberately took off his boots and undid his dirty ragged foot wraps.”

The first quote made me think of Wiener actionists. I could envision a bearded man in his mid thirties, naked, and tied to a chair. On the table a reel-to-reel recorder plays unpleasant noises over a single loudspeaker of crappy nature. The Wiener actionist, maybe bald, maybe half bald, but the hairs growing on his head are long and wet, shouts the prayers at the top of his voice for six long hours. And because this is Wiener actionism he will piss, shit and vomit too, and maybe cut himself as well.

The second quote made me think of a performer in a small space where-ever in the world ready to play some contemporary avant-garde music. He or she wouldn’t leave a big impression by sitting down first and then taking off the shoes.”

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Excerpt from the second chapter, ‘One Beautiful Summer’

“I could only think of a little fragile man, his fanaticism that religious people call devotion, the diseases of that time and what a miserable life it must have been to dedicate your entire existence to a vision. Loyola helped to build an empire, an empire so big that it occupied worldly places, but also time itself and everything that happened within that time and space. At night the pilgrim and the scholar could go for a walk outside, look up at the stars and think they were in an enormous cathedral. And the only lights they could see were the stars above and the only sounds they could hear were hidden in the surrounding darkness. Marcin had called the composer of Blackout after the performance even before lightning his cigarette. It was a full Moon night. Months later Michal and Marcin went for a pilgrimage to the north of Spain. The composer, Tres had died soon after the performance in Elblag.”
you can get the book here

Excerpt from the second chapter, ‘One Beautiful Summer’


“Yes, it was a typical fine street for the world citizens of tomorrow. There would be shops with restored country furniture and shops where you could buy herbs, tea and coffee. People would sit outside and talk leisurely, while they had an ice cream or a pumpkin soup. There would be little galleries and small boutiques, a record shop and of course a beer brewery where a former hairdresser who had experience in developing all kinds of lotions, would do the same with beer. In short, the street would be full of shops and stores, galleries and boutiques that would take care of your opinions and morals and offer an attitude in return. We walked back into a nondescript street with hardly any traffic, where we had spotted a Vietnamese restaurant. We sat at an old table. We could see the interior of the kitchen where the cook juggled with a frying pan filled with noodles and vegetables. He sprayed liquid on it from yellow or red plastic bottles. Fumes and sizzles. In Berlin, health inspectors might have given the guy a hard time. We loved it. The restaurant was as basic as it could get. Probably it would disappear in the next years, together with the old market place behind it. But now we were here. Everything was okay. It was a beautiful day. ”

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Excerpt from the first chapter, ‘How to set up an Artist Residency in Calabria’

“We knew from the map that we had to follow the coastline to reach the archeological site of Kaulon. Nothing that we saw on our way made me think that the remains of a Greek village and its temple, founded seven hundred years before Christ would be somewhere in walking distance. The bar was the only construction on the promenade. A road as wide as a highway lay between us and the gardens of some houses. The highway ended before our very nose. The village itself consisted of two streets, where crude apartment blocks leaned against each other. Concrete mattered. There was no sign of life. Holiday apartments, some palm trees, a little park without trees, and the wind that kept blowing in a consistent way. ”
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Excerpt from the first Chapter, ‘How to set up an Artist Residency in Calabria’

“The village was surrounded by rising and descending serpentine roads, olive groves and the woods of Aspromonte, the most southern mountain of the Apennines. Huge apartment blocks with space for shops on street level and unfinished top floors with bare concrete pillars supporting the roof lined the street. Tiny alleys went up to the main square in front of a church, that maybe once had known times of great splendour. Everything would have looked different, had we arrived during the funeral of a boss. But we didn’t. We took a beer at a bar, sat for an hour and observed the men playing cards, while some of them were observing us. It was a peaceful Saturday afternoon. Nothing happened. The voices of the arguing card-players and the onlookers mingled with the radio playing inside the bar. It was still warm enough to sit outside, under the pergola, that during summer must have showered its fragrance on the card-players. (There was no reason to think that one day would pass by without these men sitting here and playing cards.) They knew that we knew and we knew that they knew. They also knew that we would never really know what they knew. This was the kind of traffic that went from our eyes to theirs and back again. It was my first confrontation with a blockade by silence. ”
You can order the epub here

From the first chapter ‘How to set up an Artist Residency in Calabria’.


“R. lifted his head. Anger boiled under his skin. Whatever his answer would be, I was sure that he would put down the job within three months. Nonetheless he tried to come up with a response. Not familiar with the use of ornaments in rhetorics he looked like a serf who appeared in the house of his Lord, nervously kneading his hat. He tried, poor R. to make some verbal reverences. He also tried to keep his pride. There had been too many feuds and masters in his beloved land. He decided relatively fast to transport the discussion back to the apartment, where we sat at a table that usually was filled with food and wine, but now, without the uniting quality, looked lump and cold. He asked about finances. That was not a subject that Guru wanted to discuss now.”

you can get the book here