#eye #eye
[book / sound piece]

Climbing Monuments
by Romy Rüegger

Language is Skin, Scripts for Performances
(Archive Books, 2018)

The publication that includes the English translation of the script of the performance, that was meant to be read and reactivated as part of inter:archive, got stuck in a storage in Milan because of a new lung disease. Three weeks of male-streaming and broadcasting later. The public discussion around who keeps our society clean seems to be actualised, by the realities around care taking and the racial implications of a clean and hygienic society. The connection between the maintenance of white narratives in general and what is expected from those working in the care sectors on an individual level, becomes shockingly visible those days, with all its gendered and racialized implications. Tales of superiority and invulnerability get contrasted by the call for care/repair workers, that restore and absorb the damages of the politics that those delusions brought along in the past decades.

The digital space, that has replaced almost all other possible spaces of encounter – beyond the nuclear family or the monogamous relationship – structurally and schematically repeats, what I thought has for ever been banned in that museum in the Ticino: the unbroken figures of the surveying philosopher, the knowledgeable expert, the savant doctor, the determined and aspiring forces, arranged around the belligerent leader. The caring, judging and desperate female figures in the side rooms.

How to build a separatist online life, in order to be able to hear the silences and to keep working on a society in which the common value systems do encourage appearances beyond the positivistic logic of a patriarchal and whitening space, which the internet and the social media have shown to be in the past four weeks more clearly than ever.

The un-friend, un-follow buttons have gotten a completely new meaning. As well as queer and fem online groups, telegram groups, closed mailing lists; the organizing along the poorest and most vulnerable ones; the (embodied) knowledges of grannies, care workers, maintainance workers, sex workers, in all their presence-absences; the scholars and educators that refer to modern genealogies of figures of knowledge around plants and healing, that have been subterraneated during the witch hunts, of spirits and bonds, that colonialism tried to dis-legitimate; the new waves of feminist curating and publishing.

Text by Romy Rüegger 

April 2020

Climbing Monuments, audio track 28 minutes
Voiced in Italian by Daniela Bertini, Lila Lisi and Anna Schlossbauer
Performed together with Flora Vannini at Museo Vincenzo Vela in Ligornetto on the occasion of an exhibition by Pascal Schwaighofer 2016
Magnesia: Maria Guggenbichler. Furia by the Fates: OOOR Records
English translation by Katja Schwaller and Spencer Rangitsch
Published in: Romy Rüegger, Language is Skin – Scripts for Performances, Archive Books 2018

Romy Rüegger is an artist and writer based in Zurich and Berlin. Her performances, audio installations and choreographed spaces negotiate the relationship between language, embodied memory and the technopolitics involved in that.