Submission
Martin Maeller

PRIVATE HORROR

Martin Maeller, PRIVATE HORROR, 08/01/ - 19/04/2022


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Installation view: Martin Mealler, PRIVATE HORROR, 2022
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Installation view: Martin Mealler, PRIVATE HORROR, 2022
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Installation view: Martin Mealler, PRIVATE HORROR, 2022

The Loop
He goes to the gas station on the edge of town one last time. Over by the pine forest, a dog is barking. He places his phone on the device and pays. The air is stale and warm, the fluorescent lights above the cash register dazzle him. A moth languidly circles above. As he steps outside the automatic sliding door again, he finds the coolness soothing. No cars. Across the street, a burnt-out bus stop shelter, a lamppost stretches almost to the middle of the road. Beyond that, the darkness begins. Strangely he only streams music lately that makes him feel nothing. Even now. He turns the music up a little louder. There he is, in the aftermath, remembering a conversation he had before that night. He asked her how she imagined an end. She answered with a counter-question: does he want to know whether she wishes for it or her vision of the end? He sits down in the ruins of the bus shelter. Time stands still, and he thinks of what he should have said yesterday: doesn’t our imagination shape our wishes? The world is not made to endure. He read this recently, maybe on the train ride from the big city into the small town. The sentence comes to him now as a half-remembered thought from a science fiction story of dying worlds. Maybe it is a cliché, yet he feels the weight of this statement. She said he was a pessimist. No, she said, more than that: he longs for an end because he believes the world is continuously dying. The end is fulfilment for him, she said. He replied that the world was set up for decay from the very beginning. The slow cadaverisation of the world. The future will be determined by the ruins of the immediate past. The traffic roared, swelling and subsiding as if it could go on forever. The light of the city was a hazy yellow; everything was confusing but stable and beautifully obvious. The network of streets, the houses with their sleeping inhabitants, the sidewalks and parks with the still awake people. But he knew: decay is the great mobilizer, and it does not conceal its work. He saw it everywhere. He said nothing more. Later, he went down the hill and fished his phone out of his pocket. He stopped, looked at the black display, but decided against unlocking it. He let the still dark device slide back into his pocket and continued walking in the orange light of the lanterns. It alternated with the glow of an Italian fast-food joint where the last patrons were still sitting on stools at high tables, then a gallery, a launderette. There was nothing to be missed. He walked with his back straight and without turning around. Up close, the beautiful order of the city was lost. He saw fragments, aspects, crystalline splintered. In some places, the houses were like ruins, in others, the new houses already resembled ruins. At night, the city looks so different. The dark windows and doorways attract his gaze. His thoughts were muddled yesterday. Yes, he answered the question of the previous night, the striving is part of us all. It permeates every entity, and every person is a world unto themselves, striving toward an end. In the gas station across the street, the light goes out. Only the neon strip around the large canopy continues to glow; the buzzing of the moths is not audible anymore. Far to the east, the sky turns a bluish-grey. He gets up. Time to go, he thinks, knowing it won’t be the last time. He will come back tomorrow.
Text: Philipp Hindahl