La Biennale di Venezia

La Biennale di Venezia

Europees Cultureel Centrum, Palazzo Bembo

IN TOUCH - Song of Songs

After the fall of communism, criticism on capitalism, has stilled, shadowland, the world of everything we have and hold. Unlimited greed has nestled in every nook of our society. On the altar of economic growth – our last article of faith – Mother Earth is dying, resulting in particularly disintegrating waves of migration. Violation of intimacy and the #MeToo defence. Permanently seeking acknowledgement on screens of mobile phones.

Inspired by the Song of Songs, the sing of love by touching I will promote this world different: me tangere. Knitted hands and a grand piano comfortably in a knitted cover (Marynka Nicolai and Tineke Smith). Sewn fragile hands on paper: will space finally be the eye of the needle‘. Visitors are invited to dress themselves in a cloak of love. This jacket fits all of us,‘blow through my court’ Song of Songs 4:16. Tactical lights, lights of hope, safety and connection. The video screen depicts a verse by the poet Achterberg: sperm and stars silvering back and forth / Heaven falling through us in spells. Pianists and dancers are invited to improvise, make associative connections on my installation. The piano is tuned at 432 hz instead of 440 hz, composer and pianist Marynka Nicolai experimented: discovered people slowing down, more comfortable. Transcribing wool work to music, gently piercing the listeners ears to reach hearts.

This rebellious knitting refers to times when attention and love were still part of the valuable everyday life. So does recycling. Lateral thinking: a bank shot, not a billiard cue but a knitting needle. Time and space for questions and development of others: about desiring, faith, safety and connecting. Simone Weil wanted to suspend the result- and profit-oriented way of thinking, in favour of the mind that makes itself available: hinneni, me voici, here I am, from the biblical prophecy. Mysticism of the earth.

Henk Abma