dear z.,

By Markus Mittringer

Just passed by this place once again. I’m not sure whether Lothar Schmidt noticed me – he was too preoccupied with maintaining order in the game and had become one with his raised chair – or so it seemed to me. Your field is already pretty worn out, the pawns have furrows and even the bishops seem beleaguered. I have no idea who sung this time. I can still hear Maria Harpner and see her being kissed by Ignaz Kirchner. For the others, though, today was the premiere. Will you stop by every now and then? While painting, perhaps, or in dreams?

I admire the way your pictures reach out and seize space, a provocatively raised finger challenging the viewer, the way Velasquez’ trunk manages to work its way into the `Now´, when the spiked tongues of fabulous beings shock all those who encounter art in a state of angst. And what I would enjoy the most would be to have all those pairs of eyes in the St. Petersburg Hanging around me, to be flooded with history and perforated by looks at the same time – faces and looks of loving care just so as to push myself further.

And yet I cannot be at your studio permanently, surround myself by causes for cross-examining direction, to imbibe espressi and step out of familiar territories and test new waters. There are yet a great many things out there which desire to be experienced. Do you recall the time you fell head-over-heels in one of those capitular courts in this quintessentially German of German cities, how you began to bleed and afterwards ate grilled sausages? I had no idea at the time that Karl May and Raoul Capablanca new each other, that chess has always been handed down by our forefathers, where Louise Bourgeoise lives, that Miramare is also only a piece of property and that Nadir Gottberg is a composer. But I should have easily been able to guess the thing about the opera.

A few alleys further on I came across that picture of yours with the triangles: it was up to me, it said, to form a picture of god – and not that much further on were written the words “religion is dangerous” and that one must perform the impossible. And, preferably, first of all.

Cupid shows up every now and again and, if he happens to be in a good mood, he afflicts entire families. The city then begins to gyrate, cloth napkins are brought out, then come the words and the phrases with increasing momentum and meet each other at the interfaces of dare-devil manoeuvres joyously endowing sense and nonsense, alternately recharging themselves with meaning, banding together into aphorisms, dissolving into letters only to later, at some other place, reinvent themselves. And, if they feel so inclined, they simply clothe themselves in another language. Sometimes they readjust the words of foreign poets and sometimes yours, sometimes they form walls, are chaste and immovable only then desiring, once again, to be taken up, shaken, and thrown overboard. Compromise is the only thing they do not like, in this sense, they are as stubborn as Cupid. This is as far as it goes - they just flaccidly hang there in their lines.

It’s a good thing that you not only paint but that you paint with your sewing machine, apply words in layers, that you introduce clothing, and that you already have done your Wunschbild. Recently I was observing how a word settled itself upon a canvass as a May green blotch. I right away lay myself down next to it. We became very close. Incidentally: in “Fortuna” an increasing number of people are now crossing the “Yes”.

Yesterday I was once again in one of your voting cubicles so as to travel through zenita-city or, to be more precise, to “knowlege is a highly complicated thing – so also is love”. I return there often just to say in a highly composed manner “sic!”, to simply listen to the white queen, to meet the tyrant, the grey eminence, the helper, the swans, the soul of the game, the joy, the spirits and you. Maria Callas came by with the post, as always, the place-name signpost stood in the centre, and time had red cheeks. And, as always, the chastity belt did a headstand. This time, Baroque water games occurred to me fed by farmer’s wives supercharged with desire and who, in spite of their equipment of shame, were pissing out oceanic fountains up towards the heavens.

What are you currently working on with your team of poets and tone engineers, fathers and interpreters, painters and inventors enriching the city? What are you digesting at the moment - what are you being subjected to; what pens do you allow to dance across canvasses like so many dervishes? Who are you going unfurl this time? I’ll come over right away. I’ll bring with me cigarettes and no expectations.