Let your lips stay chapped. Dry is a pool and you are two waves from drowning. Your flesh is Sahara-made. The bones at the foot of your lungs are fallen cactus needles. Taste the silence of thirsty. Let your tongue and throat stay wanting.
Treat the moon like a bad metaphor. Turn your face away from Her on nights when She wants to see only you. Master the art of rejection. Forgive Her weak light the night after, forgive Her craters that grow according to the size of your broken. Wallow in the quiet with Her. She will watch you lose yourself so you don’t have to.
Behind your eyelids, the artists go to die. Picasso sits in his throne in your peripheral. He paints only for you these days. It is his favorite pastime. You are on his mind like acrylic. Van Gogh makes a home of your dilated pupils. He digs them deeper until he hits clay. He hides his brushes there. He paints only when it is dark and you see only bruises. Behind your eyelids, the artists are living and breathing.
Shut the door behind you. Clean the dust from the encyclopedias. Read only the pages explaining mitosis. Draw eyes in the margins. Close your own and listen to the micro of you, listen to your cells pulse and quake and expire, only to replace. Know that love pulses and quakes and expires, only to replace.
Tomoko Sawada’s ID400 (1998) was produced while she was a university student and living in Kobe. “The photo machine, a small vending machine-like contraption, can be found in numerous locations around the city.” Sawada spent weeks changing her physical appearance with make-up, clothing, and hairstyles, creating 400 different identities using a machine whose sole purpose is to produce stable images for official documents. The facial characteristics are so varied that the photographic project becomes a compelling study of physiognomy.
Going to see this in Montreal this week as part of le Mois de la Photo. Great that this is happening in the photobooth capital of the world… but that is slowly losing all of its film photobooths.