1x1 ON WOLFGANG TILLMANS: TO LOOK WITHOUT FEAR
Miss Kittin, 2001
I’m the temporary accumulation of many millions of decisions. Some were made to blot out the light. What I mean by light is clarity, illumination, understanding. I wasn’t always successful, sometimes my success was terrifying. But terror can be its own form of illumination and for those who desire the hair-raising zip of such electrifying conditions, I can be your guide. I can show you the wintery forest on the other side of the shallow darkness. I can show you how to be revealed, if you’ll agree to name what you see. Our party is not without purpose, but that purpose is a little different for every one of us. We share desire. And for a moment we share a flash of light.
What you can’t see you imagine, and then later your memory blends the visions. What you can’t remember you imagine, and then later you forget the difference. What you can’t forget you share, and then later you imagine if you hadn’t. You brought a camera to the party and you asked to take my picture. How you understood me when neither of us spoke is how I know that my eyes use words my mouth doesn’t have. You know this too. You must. Why else bring your camera to a party?
I am the shape of a triangle set in the parameters of a rectangle. The rectangle is your vision. I don’t see you in rectangles. I don’t see your edges. You see me by myself, but that truth is only in your vision. In manifesting your truth, you subsume all others. You made a direct connection between a heart and two eyes. I have too. I watch you and I feel the heat of your seeing.
A black band of paint crosses my eyes and a leather mask frames my face. They are there to communicate signals for those who can tune into my frequency. My signals are manifold and will continue vibrating into the future through the image portal of your photograph. The darkness around us and the intimacy of your nearness will transcend the bright lights and white rooms of your photograph’s future. My signals won’t be diminished.
When there is too much noise in the signal, the signal becomes the territory of distortion. Something is twisted apart. We are twisting together. We are blending and amplifying. We are different wavelengths momentarily harmonizing, and that harmony is our party. It will eventually end, like the age of stars. When it does, your photograph will signal to all who see it that you made the choice to bring a camera to a party. It is the mask you wore that allowed you to see.