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'Yod Bait (יב׳)' by Ishai Shapira Kalter at The Lobby - Art Space, Tel Aviv

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I am playing the piano and stretching time, never staccato. Flies are flying around the space. Buzzzzzzing. There must be a corpse lying somewhere between those walls, the body of a lizard or perhaps of a human being. Here. Here exactly is where the corpse was concealed, so I decided. That’s why flies are flying around. Buzzzzzzing. With my body I approach the corpse lying inside one of the walls, I stick my nose against the panels, crawling, smelling and touching. And the walls diffuse a smell, they listen but they don’t speak. It’s so stinky in here, the stench disseminates. "Drill, pierce the wall and touch the rotting corpse." Not even a ray of daylight passes through the wall I have just drilled into. There isn’t any corpse in there and I am scratching myself. Maybe the smell emanates from me, though my body parts are clean. I touch my rectum area and make sure I didn't shit myself while I was asleep. But there is no trace of excretions in the room. Neither mine nor anyone else's. Nothing. And as I fail to identify the source of the smell, the room reeks even more. A friend who has AIDS told me it sometimes happens to him, because of the medical treatment, he shits himself in his sleep, he doesn’t control his sphincter. The last time he shat himself, he woke up covered in stenchy stool and went to wash his soiled clothes at the neighborhood laundromat. Everything’s just fine. Only yesterday I washed the green floor tiles. The room is supposed to smell of synthetic floor-cleaning detergent. And at first sight, it does look sparkling clean in here. Still, it doesn't explain where all the flies come from and why. But here they are, and perhaps they are flying around other apartments too. Perhaps, I don't know. The flies look at me with all of their hundred eyes. They look at me, and I return their gaze. What are they doing here? They express no distress when landing, now and then, on one of my arms, foot or head. They raise their winged voices and indeed, their voices are heard. All a fly really wants is to be heard, shouting out through its roaring wings - here I am, and now here, or here - as it flies and crash into scattered objects, the window, my body or the ceiling, and all it fears like death is a handclap. Anyway, I'm sitting at the piano and playing a melody at a very slow tempo. Slowly, slowly, tick, tack. And beams of light suddenly penetrate the room through the perforated wall. And the flies rest on my body and buzzzzzz. We become one musical instrument. As the sound stretches, our body stretches too and time stretches with it. I am playing the piano and stretching time. And thinking. Never staccato. Just no staccato, war is staccato. Manhattan is staccato. Love is staccato. Like receiving quick punches to the body and face, and the muscles contract to absorb the blows. And I am beaten, because I was beaten and I am still beaten and I will be beaten again. And I will beat. But I will get to revenge later. I am playing the piano and stretching time, never staccato. Outside the window they pass by and they talk, and I notice the voice of one among many, her tone is pleasant to my ear, perhaps because she speaks an elusive language. Her voice emerges from the group’s, as though it has a different frequency, it plays to a tone and a beat of its own and suddenly it seems as if it’s standing alone above the crowd. And the beats don't match. And the melodies clash with one another. And I sort of let go of the melody, I pause and I keep counting the rhythm in my heart. Tick tack, tick tack. And the piano’s resonance continues to echo throughout the stinking space. And the flies are buzzzzzzing. And my soul rises up as her voice passes by and follows in the footsteps of the group, and the melodies sound further and further away. And the echo is squeaking. And the spirit and the wind are still resting, asleep, sovereign. And time stands still. And I don't wake her up.

Paris, a night of full moon, July 16, 2019

29.8.19 — 12.10.19

The Lobby - Art Space

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