About Ursula Scherrer

Posts by Ursula Scherrer:

#10: Sunday morning

Sunday morning. The day before, a snow storm. Now clear skies. And very cold.
We meet up at The Cloisters.
Some of us knew each other, some meet for the first time.
Steef knows Ieke, me, Frans.
Frans knows Steef, Irina, Ieke.
Ieke knows Frans, Steef, Irina.
Irina knows Ieke, Frans, me.
I know Steef, Irina, Rafael.
Rafael knows me, Ventiko.
Ventiko knows Rafael.
After a short meeting about the day we go our own ways, exploring the museum.

We meet for lunch. The Café in the Museum is closed in winter. We have to go out.
Down the steep hill. Children on sleds.
And after
back up the hill
a bit like Switzerland
not like the Netherlands.
Before we part Irina asks as us to count the steps from outside the museum up to the main floor.
Ieke gives everybody a line or two to recite as we wish.
Ventiko asks us to sometimes copy one of the others.
Frans asks for everybody to be in close proximity of each other for the first 15 min.
All still
connecting with each other.
Irina asks us to smile at the figure #59.
I ask the others to join me to build a circle with the chairs in the chapel
in case they are back in lines in the afternoon.
And put them back into rows by the end of the day.

Some of us end the day with Spaghetti in my little apartment in the Lower East Side.

Photos: FvL

#10: What is parallel?

I wonder off.
I see a guard looking intently at a tapestry.
Three female busts watching him, him watching the visitors, the visitors watching the art.

There is a chapel. Several rows of small chairs facing the windows. One chair is standing in a diagonal.
A hint?
Lets set them into a circle. One by one. In between walking away. It feels a bit like playing Mikado. Will a guard realign them?
At the end of the morning there is a circle.

Sitting. Observing. Writing a few lines in my diary:
ParallelShow – was ist parallel?
Eine Maria. Zwei Gesichter, so nahe, wie sich zu einem Kuss hinneigend.
Das Dazwischen.
Die Geschichte von Eric.
Die Geschichte von Daniel. Die Worte von Daniel.
Die Wärme hinter mir.
Die Tropfen rinnen runter.
Die Kälte und die Wärme.
Das Schliessende.
Die Bank drehen.
Ein Kreis aus Stühlen.
Und die Frage, was ist parallel?
Mich sonnen in der Kälte bei grauem Himmel.
The payphone doesn’t work.
The chairs in the chapel are aligned.
I set them in a circle
over time
does a guard notice
I had a hint
one was out of alignment
four lines on the window
parallel lines in the condensation
a hint

After lunch.
I count 60 steps for Irina.
For the first 15 min. I sit on the floor next to the door
cross legged
my eyes almost closed>
At one point a guard comes by telling me that I have to move
I am sitting on old stones
I move onto a bench.
I say my line out loud.
Frans breaks the stillness after 15 min.

I step next to Rafael and say my line:
‘My left eye is slightly higher then my right eye so that seen from below both eyes remain visible and appear focused on the child.’

The chapel.
The chairs are realigned in lines.
I start to build a circle with them.

I pass Irina.
I read my line to her.

The figure # 59.
I smile at it.
Ieke is there too.
We read our lines to each other.
We play with them.

I ask a guard
‘what is parallel?’
‘Two lines’.
He shows me with his arms
Another guard joins
they discuss parallel together
‘two lines that don’t meet’
I ask
‘is there parallel in here?’
A moment of silence.
‘you mean what you read in the brochure
it is outside
the river, on the other side’.
‘Thank you’

I ask a guard
‘what is parallel?’
‘Two lines. Two lines that never meet.’
Showing me with his hands.
‘Is there parallel in here?’
Silence. Looking around.
‘No. No, I am sorry.’

‘What is parallel?’
My accent. I try again.
‘Parallel. Parallel.’
‘No. I don’t understand. Sorry.’

Steef is sitting on a bench.
A guard is talking to him. Steef must have asked her something.
I sit on another bench just like him. Arm on leg. Chin rested on the other hand.
Focusing on the guard.
She becomes the performer.
She keeps talking and explaining, moving around in the big space, turning, making gestures, pointing to this, to that.
A performance.
For us.

Eventually –
‘What is parallel?’
I ask her.
‘Things that are similar. Also lines.’
‘Is there parallel in here?’
‘Yes. Over here.’
We go into the next room.
‘Here, this is parallel. All the same period. Here a lion. Here a dragon. Here a camel.’

I ask a guard
‘what is parallel?’
‘Two lines. Like railroad tracks. Not in an angle. Like railroad tracks.’
Helping with his arms to show me the tracks.
‘Is there parallel in here?’
Looking around.
‘Yes. Yes, there is.

In between visits in the chapel.
The chairs build a circle.
Nobody seems to mind.

I sit next to Ventiko.
Sitting like her.
One leg crossed over the other.
Looking out.
Silence. Stillness.

‘My left eye is slightly higher then my right eye so that seen from below both eyes remain visible and appear focused on the child.’
Not too loud. Audible to her.
She says her line.
We mix them together.
We take them apart.
We fragment them.
We play with them.
We converse with them.
We ponder them.

Before the museum closes
all the chairs are back aligned in lines.
Facing the light.

Photos: I.D.