X, installation, 2007

A story about a woman who works in the building opposite my studio, and binoculars. Spectators can spy on her through the installed binoculars.



"This is a true story", she told me. She is the woman who sometimes makes eye contact with me through the window of my studio. One day, she suddenly walked into my studio and started to talk about her story. I cannot say her real name for the sake of her privacy. Let's just call her X. The rest of this story has been told exactly as X said it.

X works in the design office in the Ben Pimlott building, Goldsmiths College, which is just opposite my studio. X has shoulder length brown hair. X usually wears a boring gray color t-shirt with black glasses. X spends most of her time in the office looking at her computer monitor. X's day to day life is mundane and repetitive. The same thing always happens. X had another similar boring day when she found a yellow Selfridges plastic bag on the street between the Ben Pimlott building and my studio. X said, " I don't know. It has just happened."

Now, X is looking into the yellow Selfridges plastic bag. She cannot believe her eyes. There is a big black hand gun in the bag. It is a real gun, like those you see in action movies. X thinks for a while as she holds the yellow bag. She wonders what she should do. X suddenly, very suddenly recollects a man, who left her three years ago. X feels her heart beating very fast. X strongly grabs the Selfridges bag. She does not know why she suddenly remembers him at that moment, but, anyway, she just does.

X is sitting in a cafe, where the man works. He does not seem to notice she is looking at him. X still thinks he has beautiful eyes. X also remembers his beautiful smile. By the way, X feels it is too hot and bright in the cafe. She is sweating now. When she decided to come to the cafe, she hadn't planned to talk with him. X might have just wanted to see his face at a distance. However, X finds herself already moving towards the man who works behind a coffee machine. He finally notices her.

"Hi, what a surprise! What brought you here? How have you been?" the man asks her. Well, X actually cannot understand what she is doing now, so she cannot explain why she is there at this moment. She thinks briefly about what to say and then murmurs with a small voice. "Why did you leave me three years ago?" He seems not to understand what she is saying. "What?" he asks back. At the moment, X suddenly feels very annoyed and pretty much upset. X just feels it is too sizzling and bright. She does not like it. Now X is sweating profusely and even feels dizzy. She feels like she cannot bear this anymore. X finally yells at him. "You, bastard! I asked you why you left me!" The man looks quite irritated and a little embarrassed. He gives a cold and dry smile, which once she liked. She liked how the right side of his mouth curled up as he smiled. He asks her, "Why do you want to know it now?" Now X feels almost faint. It is bloody hot and shinning here. X feels very suffocated. X thinks she really cannot bear this anymore. Unfortunately, She bursts with rage."Fucking listen carefully. I have a gun in this Selfridges bag. It is a real gun.  So, Just fucking answer my question, motherfucker! You had better answer very carefully. Or, I will blow up your fucking stupid shit head with this gun! You, disgusting bastard!" X grabs the yellow Selfridges bag and hysterically swings it in front of his face.

He wonders what she is doing and refuses to believe what she is saying. He thinks she must be crazy or very sick. Oh, poor thing. He feels pity for X, but also finds the situation quite intriguing. He tries to think back to three years ago. Three years ago... X feels she is waiting for his answer for a very long time. She keeps wiping the sweat from her forehead with her hands. Oh, my God, now X feels like throwing up. After a long silence, finally he opens his mouth. X can see his cold smile again. He says very slowly and clearly as if he is typing each word into her brain.
"I.  didn't.  like.  your.  old-fashioned.  conceptual.  idea. like. sixties'.  and.  minimal.  outlooks.  like.  seventies'.  It.  was.  so.  boring.  I. felt.  that.  I.  had.  already.  seen.  everything.  about.  you.  so.  many.  times.  I.  was.  fucking.  sick.  and.  tired.  of.  your.  familiarity. without. creativity!  There. was.  no.  imagination.  or.  any.  sexy.  twist.  in.  you.  at.  all!"

Suddenly, X feels all of her energy draining from her. X blushes, murmuring with very small voice, "Sorry". She turns away from him and hurries to leave the cafe. After leaving, she remembers she even did not say bye to him. Oh, Jesus, she also finds she dropped the yellow Selfridges bag in the cafe. However, X does not go back.


X said that everything was so weird that night. Now X has resumed normal life again. Today, as usual, she is wearing another dark color sweater. Whilst she should be watching her computer screen, she sometimes looks out the window. She may be thinking about the night. Her vague smile seems to say so.


*click here the Spanish version of the story for the show, Conceal from Your Eye, Centro Cultural Bastero, Andoain, Spain


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