.Short story no. 208 (nov 2007)

.Exhibition (sep 2007)

.Short story no. 207 (aug 2007)

.Happening (jun 2007)

.Drawings (may 2007)

.Story for publication 'Belief'
(link to Kirsten Leenaars to order a free copy)

Extra in Dutch:
.Statement voor themamiddag (sep '07)
.Motivatie bij inzending van werk voor Hermine van Bersprijs (jul '07)


Due to miscommunication and my own precarious financial situation, I needed to go back on my promise to go to Sarajevo and install my work on the request of curator Ibro Hasanovic and Boris Majstorovic, queer art and culture coordinator of LOGOS. Sorry guys.Story below has not been exhibited.

Short story no. 208, November 25, 2020

Leave it, I told them today, don’t buy me a ticket. I am sitting behind my computer and thinking how I’m supposed to travel to Sarajevo on the 8th of December to install my work in a series of exhibitions of queer art. The storm clatters on the two small windows of my attic room, here in Leiden. It’s dark and rainy. When I look outside I see the church I have grown so accustomed to in the last five years of painting and drawing it. When lit from the street in the night, it transforms into a lighthouse for the aeroplanes flying above this small town before landing at the airport. This thought comforts me.

The thought I’m suppose to step into an aeroplane myself in two weeks, doesn’t comfort me at all. I hate the waiting and hanging about surrounded by other people waiting and hanging about. I can read a book, but what if I’m not in the mood to read a book? You might think that writing comforts me, but it doesn’t. You imagine me sitting on those dreadful benches and making notes in my diary, but I don’t. Writing is very disruptive. You might feel happy in your temporarily created utopia, but how can you ignore the ultimate necessity of leaving it? For example when the story is finished. Or worse: when you are unable to write down what you want to.

If you’d see me at the airport today, I’d be reading Wish I was here by Jackie Kay. For sure. While reading, I would be thinking of a letter to send to Jackie Kay to say I so very much enjoy her stories because they are so recognizable and that it seems so easy to write them and that it almost feels like I would be able to write stories like hers, but that I know it's quite hard work and that when you don't have the time, because you are applying for jobs, it usually stays with a couple of beautiful lines written on a crumpled piece of paper. And I would ask her if she feels the same pressure to make something beautiful like I do. And why. I would ask her if she thinks I would still feel a failure if I wouldn’t be able to write because I'd be too busy with my new job. I would tell her that I think I only feel a failure now, because I don't have a job and I'm not writing beautiful stories like her, Jackie Kay, but only incoherent ones like my letters to one or two readers.

Months ago I reacted to a call for papers for queer art. The curator liked my art and invited me to do a solo exhibition in Sarajevo. It was not until recently I discovered the exhibition is organized by the local LGBT-organisation called LOGOS. But what is queer art about? Was I invited for my lesbian theme? The feminist appearance of my work? My analysis of the political and economic structures of the setting of the exhibition?
To tell you the truth, I don’t feel like a queer artist at this moment at all. Before I questioned the invitation to show my art, I had already said yes to the paid trip to Sarajevo, which all my friends say I should visit, because it is such a beautiful city. Why does LOGOS want to do exhibitions of queer art? Where did they get the money? To whom will I showing my art? Will my art be provocative? And who will take accountability for this?

So, I said to them: leave it. Save the money for better purposes. I would suggest giving the money to a queer artist living in Sarajevo. There is no political or economic benefit of my presence in Sarajevo. If there was, I’m sure the ticket would have been booked weeks ago. If they want to do the exhibition anyway, I can send them my story so they can hang them in the exhibition space. You, the reader, can conclude the organizers got themselves a proper queer artist. If I had been asking about the interests of LOGOS from the beginning, I wouldn’t have written this story for you.

Queer art is about creating the possibility to say no to the dominant hetero-normative economic and political structures of art. Or yes. But to at least write a story about it that replaces an older one.

Suzanne van Rossenberg ©2007