She erodes me. I can calmly admit to myself — she erodes me. She hosts herself in me. She lets me understand that what has been already achieved today, is not the limit at all, that she can do more, can move on, and anything can be done, she has strength and we both know it. She grows and develops slowly, becomes larger. It is difficult to say how long ago have I discovered her presence. I am sure that she was inside of me for quite a long time, remaining unknown. She worked, developed, grew inside me like a big complex machine, without being caught by my eyes. She worked in silence and in the dark, but I did not even suspect anything. I have no evidence that she was in me long before I discovered her. I’m afraid I will never have any clues for how long she was inside of me, for how long she had been building her machine. No one will ever be able to give me the exact day and hour when her very first cell appeared inside me and began to divide and grow. Probably at the very beginning she acted very carefully, perhaps she didn’t want me to find her. If she wants anything at all. It is possible that she does not want anything. Perhaps she can not even want.
Strictly speaking, erodes is not the exact word. Eroding means destruction of something, some kind of fabric, flesh or soul, the transformation of this into muck, mass or dirt. She does not erode me — she divides me. She separates something that was me before, but no longer is me, from what remains to be me. What she separates, she turns into something completely different from me. I carry her part in me, I am her carrier. But I am afraid that when the part that is captured by her will become bigger than the part that will remain to be me, our roles will change, and she will become my carrier, while I will turn into something that she will carry. I will become a soft invertebrate slippery parasite in her body, which by then will become tough and strong, like the best machine in the world. I feel that every day she snaps off more and more parts of me and that some sort of her law unfolds inside of me, according to which she performs her work. I ask myself what is this law that makes my body work in the logic contrary to it. This law is inside of me, but at the same time it is somewhere outside of me, beyond my reach. But she, I know that, is completely inside of me, but if her law is outside of me — then where is it?
Sometimes it seems to me that if I could find the center in which everything began (if such a center exists at all), then I could stop her, I would understand her law, would regain all what she had taken from me. But no matter how hard I try to look for it, I see nothing, I cannot find anything, and in the meantime she takes away parts of me, and less and less is left. I seem to be both diminishing and at the same time, being captured by her law, I begin to last somewhere where I had never been before. I cease to feel my body and because of this more and more often I stumble upon the surrounding objects. This is rather an annoying feeling — when you simultaneously feel your body extended for some inconceivable distance and at the same time painfully hurt yourself with the objects that are in close proximity to you.
Recently, it seems to me that what she is doing is something for a reason very important and necessary. I begin to feel joy about the fact that it is me chosen by her as her carrier, and it was from me that she took the parts for her machine. And then I ask myself: can I help her in her work? And if so, how? Trying to answer these questions, I face a problem: I do not know anything about her, nor about her machine, nor about her law. I do not even know for what reason she chose me. It is possible that it was just an accident, and it is also possible that somehow I corresponded to what she was looking for. Sometimes it seems to me that we work together with her. That I help her, without knowing it. I can say that I am even pleased to think so. Thanks to this, I have a feeling that I myself am doing some important, necessary thing, that by my actions and by the fact that I just live and breathe, I help her to build a machine to create a law. It is possible that when I do not remain at all, when I turn into the whole machine built by her, and when I become no longer myself, then she will finally accomplish the important and necessary work that is not yet finished. I want to help her as much as I can — but I don’t know what exactly I need to do to help her. When I want to take a cup in my hand, I simply brush my hand and take it. But there is simply no place to brush my hands, because she lives inside of me, and all I can do is think about her more often. Perhaps I can help her, give her strength. Perhaps, if I think more about her and her work, she will work better, build her machine faster. But then, I know it, I myself will end. My hands will reach to my end. But my end, I know this as well, will become her beginning. The machine will start working in full force, and the law will extend in all directions, encountering no obstacles. Then, having ended, I shall go on to infinity.
— Natalya Serkova
Vitaly Bezpalov, Paul Barsch & Tilman Hornig, Nschotschi Haslinger, Bernhard Holaschke, Botond Keresztesi
with a text work by Natalya Serkova
Photo by Alexander Butz