no hope no reason
I have begun retracing my self through a re-reading of texts / books that I was engaged with at the time of making the original performance of no hope no reason. A forensic investigation, noticing clues, notes in the margins, an underlined phrase or question mark, a reference that seems to point towards meaning that was unacknowledged at the time but possibly lodged in my subconscious. It’s a grey and scratchy line and I realise I am inventing the meaning of the past as much as unearthing it.
The first text I turn/ return to is Andre Breton’s Nadja. ‘She calls herself Nadja because in Russian it’s the beginning of the word hope, and because it’s only the beginning.’ She was christened Leona-Camille-Ghislaine D., and was born near Lille on 23rd May 1902 (her full name has never been revealed, nor is she referred to in Breton’s account as anything other than ‘Nadja’). I open the slim volume and begin reading. ‘Who am I? If this once I were to rely on a proverb, then perhaps everything would amount to knowing whom I ‘haunt’. ...Such
a word... makes me, still alive, play a ghostly part, evidently referring to what I must have ceased to be in order to be who I am’ (Breton 1960, 11).
Who have I ceased to be, in order to be who I am? I sit staring at the screen. What can I say about this? Things, life seemed less sure, less known. There were more possibilities, more coincidences, confidences, more information withheld, kept secret. There was a type of madness. A sense you could walk into a café and begin talking to a stranger and this could change your life irrevocably. There was doubt and a gnawing feeling that tomorrow you would be found out. That someone would see that you are incompetent, a sham, lacking ability and the only way you have got where you are is by pulling the wool over people’s eyes.
It is 1.40 pm. outside there is a light drizzle of rain. Upstairs my mother is sleeping.