Naja Marie Aidt's introduction to the exhibition
The writer Naja Marie Aidt has created a text especially for the exhibition Hammershøi and Europe based on Hammershøi’s works and universe. The text could be found by the entrance to the exhibition and so acted as a kind of introduction or preface.
first the all but empty space / first only closed doors and averted figures / deserted streets, abandoned buildings / winter forest, white and silent; a naked woman, faceless / a young girl sweeps a floor, a man is reading / the light is alive / it shimmers in the gray regions / a lot of fuzzy murk, a radiant white hand / the light central / the light / the light // this space is a sphere of tension; it's electric; it's mathematics / and more than that, but what? / the woman bows her head – ashamed of her naked body? / or delighting in her beauty? / does the girl sweep the floor with sorrow written on her back / or is she resting / slumped inside herself? / and her neck, exposed – does it signal a devotion / her face cannot harbor? / closed doors, but they're open a crack: the space has possibilities: open a door! / we are in a chinese box! / and on a february day you may meet a man / he is walking down strandgade / he observes you closely / the shadows in the wrinkles of your coat / your sharply-illumined cheekbone / a special presence you yourself cannot see / this space is the poetic space / this man is the poet / and you meet him in london, paris / in bruges and rome / shifting light / new scenes / and suddenly you are flung into a forest practically on fire / the fire is the sunset behind the trees / the blurry contours are a softness not even the poem itself can contain / it spills over / the poetic space is a sphere of tension // the poet turns his back to you / or: he scrutinizes you / he steps back / he places you askew in the image / the space expands / the space is trimmed / now it resembles a photograph / now it doesn't / the poet is discrete / the poet is insistent / he offers you a shiver down your spine / or: a longing, to see your loneliness / he offers you recognition of something / calm, silence, something very subdued / cool that isn't cold: / here five persons placed close to each other / their eyes seeking elsewhere / no contact / but also: companionship / and here a couple at a table/ one of them is the poet himself / he has entered the poem / but in here too he turns and faces his subject / he turns his back to you // and meanwhile the poet stands beside you, observing himself / a neck, exposed // and always the gray tones, the intense darkness / always: the light // the light // smoldering, glowing / stark and bright /dense and fuzzy / it's alive // it spills over // it's the poetic space // a sphere of tension // and you stand, gazing at it /gazing at it // and then you step inside / you step inside the poem now / into the painting
Translated by Mark Kline