Quite damaged ropes

This is a story about a ladder. One which we borrow on occasion, when we need to hang the rings in the Alte Kantine from the beams we once drilled through to. We borrow this ladder from the sculpture studio in the centre of Uferhallen, behind the café. One day, a couple of weeks ago, while walking it to the Kantine, we were told of someone coming shortly to Berlin who was planning to suspend 60 or more people for a film in the biggest hall.

We’d been meaning since then to ask again for the person’s name, as the only Swiss photographer with that name seemed to not have made a history of hanging up large masses of people in dirty machine halls. And as we’ve been slowly working on mass suspensions in such places, it seemed unseemly for such a thing to happen in Uferhallen without us. Sunday though, the ladder was required once more.

Dasniya returned with ladder and with someone I thought might be a extra for our rehearsal.

Actually, he was that Swiss photographer, and the ladder had neatly intervened to arrange our meeting precisely as we began our own rope installation. We talked briefly, and perhaps twice during the rehearsal (once amidst ‘responsible/unhelpful 30 second shibari’) he returned to watch.

Some talking, some phone calls made to Dasniya. Leading to this afternoon in Matthias’ studio with a score of people here to film Michel Comte’s Madame Butterfly – The little girl from Nagasaki, and some buckets of clay. Massive sculptures and friezes fill the space, into which dancers shall be dressed in gauze kimonos, tied (yes, in our beloved anarchic unshibari), and suspended.

An attempt was made on Dasniya after lunch, using our dear Parsifal ropes, and the vats of clay, draped across a work-block and more than smothered in the slippery sticky goo. Embedded in handfuls rubbed and squeezed into the ropes until hands, feet, torso were rough, unshaped clumps. The ropes have never been so surprised, and for the first time no amount of delicacy could extract them – if they could even be found in the benthic geology – and so scissors were resorted to.

Which is to say, Dasniya and I have found ourselves working with Michel and a large group on his film for the next week or so. So much for going to Paris, and all because of a ladder.

(I have photos and even video, but perhaps I am becoming responsible, and shall confer before uploading.)