This first poem situates where I will be filming and discusses the challenge of making the camera a part of the body.
2) My dearest Bibi
This poem is about Bibi Straatman, mentor and friend, who is the main subject of the film. I write the camera’s relationality that she evokes and the role that her garden plays in this process of collaboration.
3) My dearest Margaret
As I look for connections, I seek to entangle Bibi’s garden – where I was physically present at the moment of writing – with the filmic one from Margaret Tait, which I have never visited but which had a profound influence on how I look at the garden as an extension of one’s interiority.
4) My dearest Georges
In this, I discuss Georges Bataille’s gendered privilege to disappear and retreat to the countryside and start to sketch the difference between Bibi’s position and his.
5) My dearest Kamila
Kamila was my attendance officer in secondary school, and who could have sentenced me, but instead helped me as she recognised that I lacked challenge and support. In the poem, I extrapolate the importance of people like Kamila, who listened to me like no one else had done before. I place her next to Simone Weil, Chantal Akerman and Marguerite Duras, as I value each just as much, and to point towards society’s exaggerated focus on public recognition.
6) My dearest Simone
I discuss and praise the political clumsiness of Simone Weil when she worked in the Renault factory, and how her vulnerability towards machines, and how she wrote about this struggle, helps me to embrace my own camera during the shoot of the film I am making alongside this cycle.
7) My dearest Vicky
Vicky Francken is a Dutch poet and translator I met during a residency in Paris, in which we had a very strong connection. Her struggle with shyness, and the difficulty of speaking publicly, made me rediscover mine. This piece testifies to what was like a cross-pollination of seeds: I feel that after our encounter, I became more considerate of my privacy, whereas she opened more to the public. The poem describes this as a mutually affirmative act.
8) My dearest Linda
Linda Lebeck, who grew up in a family of artists, has a very different idea of making and showing work that seems to be integral to her character and her familial lineage. And in this text, I aim to remember her expression of this silence.
9) My dearest Patrick
Patrick is someone I consider an important person in my life, and we often worked together when I lived in Vienna. With him I have always been able to talk about cinema in a manner that is closer to literature and art than to the business of big-budget filmmaking. And I consider the making of this film, which will be minute in scale and duration, to be a harvesting of our shared ideas on what it means to make films freely.
10) My dearest Izzie
A poem addressed to Isobel O’Donovan, with who I was together for over two years. In her practice, silence fulfils a crucial part, and our relationship has deeply informed how I think of what it means to be intimate with oneself.
11) My dearest Ariana
A thank-you letter to Ariana Reines and the working group Invisible College.
12) My dearest plain
In all the pieces, the domestic and the garden play a major role. And in this concluding poem I wrote to and into a future patch of soil in which I will have my own garden, and perhaps, room for a projection space.