Archive 2021 KubaParis

This Mess We're In




12.08 –11.09.2021


Michal Jalůvka & Zai Xu


Max Vajt


Anna Bochkova, Olga Krykun, Barbora Lepší, Demi Glace The name of the show was taken from the song called This Mess We’re In by PJ Harvey but other than that, the show and the song have almost no connections. We found ourselves alone in a city where the sunset orders an end of another day. We’re in a situation where we lost all our connections to what was supposed to be. Like in the song a person calls “Don’t ever change now” but we all probably know that change is irreversible. The preparations of This Mess We’re In started more than a year ago with an open call where we chose the artists based on our common interests, topics and connections. But now after a year the only connection that still holds us together is a collective memory of what used to be. A memory related to body and structures. Personal memories and personal statements. An irony of What we did and What happened. In This Mess We’re In you will be like a helicopter flying between the skyscrapers across New York looking from high above. Going from one memory zone to another. Into the structure of thought and the architecture of a memories.


After all that time I am finally standing in front of the finishing line. Too bad that I cannot remember how I even started. What a mess. Sun is setting down over the sand dunes and orders the end of another day. Sand that the wind is going to carry away. I can’t recognize it. But what can I recognize If silhouettes are the only thing I can see in my mind. I’m not even sure that I’m seeing anything. It’s more like a feeling. These shapes - shadows even - that come to me. And suddenly it’s transformed into words. Remembering the old world, and fascinated by the new one The old cosy anonymous world, and a new world under total surveillance Childhood in a city without a supermarket, maturity in the search for organic produce Childhood in the glittery souvenir shop, maturity in the fine art institution. Childhood playing with decorative dolphin snow globe, maturity living in a sterile IKEA interior. Childhood under the order of authority, maturity in the power of personal will. Childhood in the post-soviet vacancy, maturity in the Western void. Childhood in the new naive capitalism, maturity in the old, crumbling one Trying to remember the old world, I will remember the new one. Trying to remember a transition. Trying to point out a change. Trying to understand the present. Trying to understand myself. Like an alien spider crawling onto me. It goes up and wraps me inside of itself. Long legs woven around my head and my neck, growing into the ground. An architecture of domination, taking control, not leaving me alone. It may sound strange and scary, but I find it calming. It’s keeping me safe and protecting me. Colonizing my little small world and keeping it in place. Sometimes It encloses my head inside of itself and sends it into the space like a rocket. Away into the darkness. While I watch how I leave the earth stratosphere I feel the baggage falling down from my shoulders. It’s so quiet up here. My mind clears up, and there is nothing to see or feel. Suddenly, out of nothing I feel sorrow, a buzzing sound vibrates through my whole body, buzzing is filling up my ear canals and travels into the maze of my brain. I look at the blue ball and I grab it into my hands. I look at the green shapes, those green figures that are dancing with each other. From dance they start to fight and one of the figures starts to parasitize on the other one. They start to shift into different shapes, fighting and suffering. I open my eyes and I unwind. A strange feeling is coming down on me. As I estimate the value of my past compared to my future, I find out that they are both excellent. I cannot give preference to either, I must only reprove the unjust providence for wishing me so. I’m still standing in front of the finishing line, and the sun is already gone. The wind is rising and its taking every little particle of the sand with it. Away to a new place and away to someone else. I don’t care anymore, I walk away.

Michal Jalůvka & Zai Xu