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Double Monster

1996 - SAGACHO EXHIBIT SPACE, Tokyo, Japan.| DOUBLE MONSTER |  | wall-floor installation | painted text | Curator: Director Prof. Kazuko Koike.


Dear Joseph, It is bitter cold. Before, with small effort, and without being forced to stretch our necks, we could somehow peep through the slits in the huge wood pile and see something. But now the snow has blocked it entirely, and our irritation at finding that the north ridge view above the garage has vanished as if it had never been, has shaken us from side to side all week long. The noise of Max's axe alone – yes, this is our opinion – broke two vases and three hands at Jeff’s yesterday, smashing them to bits – but Jeff says that the axe's noise was muffled, the air was moist, and that the breaking resulted from the general nervousness and negligence with which business down here is run. In any event, we now have 754 pieces of wood and 8 sacks full of chips, that should be enough for heating throughout the winter. But what really drives us crazy are those thirty stairs here below. Do understand us: as long as we are not flown back home – you see, these mountains are not ours at all, and are absolutely none of our concern – at least we are entitled to be able to step out of this chilly garage, and go downstairs into the warm kitchen! We can’t manage it! On our own, we must tilt our chair at 32 degrees to roll onto the ramp all the way to the door, in order to be able to strike it with our shoulder at an angle of 12 degrees exactly, otherwise it will never turn on its hinge. This is tested. And then, once we are outside, as we are now, in order not to get stuck forever on this terrace, we must keep going at the same rate of acceleration all the way to the top of the upper left staircase. That’s it. Here we are stuck. Sitting outside in minus 20, screaming the dictation of this letter to the little gardener, who is likewise stuck behind the wall separating us at the top of the parallel right stairhead. The wall is so wet! One doesn't hear a word through! And you must by now understand the absurdity – to space the 15 right steps by 40 centimeters – had gotten into Wilson's head! That’s what happens when one thinks too much about the past, and more of what there is underground rather than of what is going on above it, when one does not think of people. And this is not about us. No surgery would get us two digestion systems, or cause all the other organs that we lack to sprout. Fat chance! We were born joined in Hiroshima, and we have no complaints. We have made an international career from it, and we cook our own soup. But how is a child, or someone like our tiny gardener, for example, supposed to walk down these stairs without breaking his neck? To leave such horrible spaces only based on the hypothesis that underneath might be the roof of a church?! And the madness of it all: as if these stairs are capable of fortifying the roof, from the outside! And with such spaces! The slope of what nave was he thinking of? It has no architectural justification whatsoever! Luckily, at the municipality they all laugh at Wilson, and it is hardly likely that we shall be declared an archeological site in the foreseeable future. In the meantime, the institute stands, the garage stands, our gardener is poor, we are a biological attraction on wheels, and the problem of the stairs is yet to be solved. Every time we get stuck here in this chill, we think furiously of the staircase to our right. Not that it helps us climb down on the left staircase. Illogical, but we have counted them, and it is a fact that the number of steps here is identical, 15, whereas the spaces between them are 15 centimeter only. The rest is a ladder. Where has the roof of the church disappeared? Not that it matters much. We are stuck upstairs anyway, and if Max chops wood, and Jeff makes a big din with his tools, there is no chance anybody will hear our screams and come to pick us up. We are through with Europe, and with Wilson and his lectures, including that foolish performance we do for him, “The Wonders of Atomic Symmetry," which bores even us. He points at us with a stick and says: "Double intelligence? Voila… Gothic architecture! Each column, when well calculated, can carry upon it a huge mass…" . . . Then he knocks on our heads, and says . . .  "And now, to the ribs." . . . Wilson loves symmetry, and loves that imaginary church buried, in his mind, right beneath us.  . . . "Its ribs," . . . he says every morning while he taps with the teaspoon on the shell of his egg, . . . "The ribs, those columns, they were pulled tight like a bow string, by this alone one could and should study all there is to study about functionality." . . . We believe that the Gothic style was founded on function, and not aesthetics or liturgy. Every morning Wilson declares himself a modernist, taps his egg with the teaspoon, and pours his heart out.  . . . This was how the Gothic mason beat on his column in order to hear the tension.  . . . Imagine: a cathedral pulled that tight that it could answer a beat with a musical sound.  . . .  So it is, Joseph. Be the church the ultimate functionalist model, Wilson remains a fool. And we do not have to tell you that tapping a soft-boiled egg produces no musical sound whatsoever. You are a great artist. You had other views of Functionalism, and of other things too. You will do something for us.




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