November 21, 2013


I’m five years old. I’m lying in bed at night unable to sleep. The apartment is quiet, dark, tiresome. Thinking keeps me awake, but how do you not think? I try my usual think-about-everything-at-the-same-time-strategy, constantly throwing in new thoughts, no lingering. I move my eyes rapidly back and forth, up and down, trying to not think. It doesn’t work. I’m still awake. Then a car drives by in the street below, casting a yellow light across the ceiling. The light is pale at first, moving slowly, but expands and accelerates as the car approaches, just to quickly fade away at the far side of the room. Such a wonderful display. Light and shadow interacting, illuminating the physical boundaries of my room. When the light reaches the end of the ceiling there is nowhere to go but down the wall. This causes it to transform, change shape, adapt. Never before have I been aware of that upper corner where the ceiling meets the walls. It’s a strange place. You can’t go there, you can’t even reach it, and it’s never decorated, not even considered. Just an inevitable effect of the efficiency of a square room. But there is something more to it. It might be the only place in the apartment with no intentions of use. It’s a blank page, and I’ve got four of them. It’s only a matter of creativity. I’m in a cube, but suddenly wishing I was in a dodecahedron. (Not that I knew what that was at the age of five, but being a child you can wish for anything.)


text: Jane Rendell, Site-Writing: The Architecture of Art Criticism, London: I.B. Tauris, 2010.


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