Fourth day        
 

31 July 2004, 5:08 pm Berlin


hi angelique, hi liesbeth,
sorry to hear that l. doesn't feel well today. we will see what happens to me tomorrow, but i guess my body can handle olive oil. last night i drunk more wine than the day before but still not the whole amount. but i believe i can raise the amount every evening. to eat smoked pigeon will be challenging – since i am vegetarian. fish i usually eat only maybe twice a year.
it’s very interesting what you say about aesthetic terrorism – specially your experiences of looking-like-an-army-of-2. two that don't want to look different in clothes, hair and style. it might be that we can handle certain differences better then certain similarities. your appearance seems to confuse or irritate the western dogma of being an individual, of showing –an identity. maybe i am overinterpreting, but it’s as if you would detest participation in the society and questioning it at its core – i guess that's terrorism – in the way some people understood it – at least since the 1970s. but you are right, the term has a strange history. on the one hand terrorism is a bourgeois construction (with conservative strategic qualities) which recodes resistance into terrorism, a linguistic recoding or reformulation, to link (emancipating) struggle to horror, to scare, to the fear of an attack by some undifferentiated violence, a violence “that could hit anyone” (i think although the Nazis used the term to describe the French résistance partisans). but this isn't guerrilla tactics that are (mostly) clear in their direction, as well as in their implementation and execution. but on the other hand it is a notion full of fictions, and today with 9/11 it is in sit is shifting or it is in transition again, in a new stage of being newly defined. and do we already participate in this transition just by saying that terrorism is not resistance? i will try to ask a former guerrilla i just got to know how he would describe it – but i believe most guerrilla activists don’t want to be called terrorists. what was the letter from iraq about that you’ve got?
i hope l. feels better tonight,
xox and until tomorrow,
yours,
elke

 

31 July 2004, 12:57 pm Amsterdam


Hello Elke
the good thing about drinking so much water is also to prevent that you from getting a hangover in the morning. L. sometimes has a headache in the morning if she has not drunk enough. Yesterday we went to a restaurant and then you aren’t able to ask for water all the time. So in the evening we drank 500 ml less water per person, which together with the oily food gave me (L.) problems with my intestines (I can't handle too much olive oil apparently, A. doesn't have that problem, also some food makes me feel sick and not A.; like artichoke and squid). Yesterday we had that in our dish (we didn't know there would be artichoke and squid in it). So I feel not that well today! But I am rather used to that feeling since in the past I had almost each morning this problem. A. never feels sick! Anyway ... although when I feel sick I have to go on eating because we have to eat the same and beside, if I go resting in my bed the feeling gets worse.
We drank also one more glass wine (150 ml) than yesterday so 6 in total. All the rest was the same.

For dinner we shared a menu, which was a starter, a meal and dessert.
The starter was small so for you 1/2 portion salad: 5 leaves (!) of salad with 3 pieces of smoked pigeon (15 gram) with a framboise dressing and a 1/2 slice of bread and 1 little knife of butter.
The meal was 1/2 piece filled squid with black ink (ink of the squid), rice, 1 piece (15 grams) grilled tuna, 1 sliced grilled pepper, 1/2 tomato, 5 olives all this together with a lot of olive oil.
Then dessert was 80 grams of mixed cheese (brie, camembert and comte).
We went home and drank the coffee with chocolate toffees and cola.
The term aesthetic terrorism came up when we were asked in an interview a few years a go why we saw ourselves as terrorists. This was because of the fact that whenever A. and I went travelling together, we were always picked out by the police for stop-and-search control. Apparently, we looked very suspicious: both very skinny, dark hair, clothes (jeans and always black). The funny thing was that if we travelled seperately that never happened! It was like when we were together we scared people by looking like an army of 2, and we felt almost as if we had power like this, which apparently people could feel. But we also felt very mistreated and angry at all the prejudices. It challenged us to be irritating, to irritate the world even more. Immediately the question came up: how do you do that as an artist? To show that you disapprove of the world around you. We wanted to work like terrorists – to secretly sneak into the art world to get our message across by irritating people. But if you use the term “terrorists” people associate immediately that with violent attacks and murder, which we of course don’t want. It was more to point out the way of working: infecting people with your way of thinking and ideas and ideals, to brainwash people with your ideas of what is a beautiful or a perfect body. Than the interviewer said: “so it is in fact more an aesthetic terrorism”. Later we used the term ourselves to avoid people thinking we meant violent attacks (after we got a letter from someone from Iraq we did not feel safe anymore and people warned us to be careful).
Good luck for today and speak to you tomorrow!
l.a