I SPY WITH MY LITTLE EYE
REFLECTIONS ON TWO WORKS BY WERNER KLOTZ
Seen close up, the eye is a strange animal. The iris forms a furry, pulsating wreath, surrounding the pupil – a hole in the face, black and infinite for someone who looks into it. Among the sense organs, the eye is the blackbox, prepared to disregard the self and to take in the other. But when the eye, my optical instrument, only sees itself, that’s a joke. “The Intellectual-Trap”: Whoever looks into it, laughs.
The medium, is the message, and the message steals away. This sight, in the right-hand peephole, really doesn’t make any sense. The mirrors, in the left one, are having a great time. They scornfully reflect nothing but the collapse of sense and reason. Small, infinitely piled up blocks, a doming grid with a thousand eyes like homunculi in Petri dishes: Cell culture in a mirror room.
In your dreams you’re blind. Eyes don’t occur in dreams. This means, you have to write in the dark. The result is blurred words and derailed lines, writing thrown off track. Dreams are accidents, odysseys into unconsciousness. They leave a trace, Japanese, from top to bottom, hastily produced emergency recording, palimpsest, epitaph. I can’t open the door. Ulysses, tied up to the mast, no land is in sight. Here is someone who does not rest in peace.
Among man’s organs, the eye is the most sensitive. Where else would a speck of dust grow into a disaster? An eye without a surrounding face and body looks even more forlorn. Ulysses’ dismembered body in the stream, his dead tongue still moaning, is the classical picture of delirious singing. The eye floating in the mirror would be the counterpart for delirious sight, if it only wasn’t caught so glassy in the box.
I can’t open the door. My eye, exclusively confronted with itself, certainly doesn’t imagine anything anymore. No field that my sight could till, no roaming, no vision. Usually, mirrors refract pictures, these mirrors refract the sight. They deprive the imagination of its power, the optics collide, a crash with total wreckage. Faites vos yeux, rien ne va plus. As I said, who dreams of eyes.
Dreams are prisons. A hostile environment. Closed spaces. AP City. A big store. Labyrinths full of thoughtlessness. A tunnel – and no end. Sometimes, companions appear, or carriages, a woman, a double-decker bus, a motorbike. Yet the terrain remains rough. The effort to decipher more is in vain. “Gevaudan-recent Dreams”: Ten futile readings, small ones, medium ones, large ones – sometimes affectionate, sometimes defiantly strong-featured. Carved reminiscences, fabrications on metallically cold plates. Hallucinations in aluminum, cave painting, heritage of the first man or of the last. Can animals dream? What was first: The word or its vision? And whom does the dream tell something?
Eyes are for contacts. In some religion it is forbidden to avert ones eyes from ones vis-à-vis, only the death incarnate lowers his eyes. “The Intellectual-Trap” overwinds the taboo into a vicious circle” An eye for an eye, Ego raised to a higher power. A toy for autistic people: I spy with my little eye, and you’ll never guess what I see. Nobody except me can see my eye as it fixes upon its own image. Moreover, it is only ever one. Whoever tries to merge right and left, mutates into a monster with a double eye, a goggle eye and a quarter of an eye. Or into a Cyclop. “The Intellectual-Trap” turns me into a cave dweller, a hermit crab: Refuser of absolutely any communication.
You can’t dream in a twosome. The dreamer’s solitariness is perfect, he even looses himself in his dream. A record of a dream is a missing persons report, a confession of one’s being lost to the world. Wanted by me as my own search apparatus is I don’t know who. Writing makes itself the scanner of itself: ECG of my night side, silhouette, cryptograph. Ready or not, here I come. Dreams as graffiti, exhibited in a museum, are absurd. They expose what is nobody’s business and force one to explore forbidden terrain. A paradoxical exhibitionism, since the confession is not legible, so the secret is kept. Dreams are blind mirrors. I spy with my little eye. It’s getting dark again.
A box, a case, a treasure chest. The chest in Renaissance paintings always hides a secret. It stands in the background, the maid kneels before it and looks inside, yet its content is withheld from the viewer. On the divan in the foreground stretches a beautiful naked woman and attracts all attention, but still more exciting is what is hidden in the chest. Werner Klotz builds such chests, and I, bursting with curiosity, am finally allowed to look inside, though in vain: They contain nothing but the maid’s view. The secret they reveal is my curiosity. Anyone who takes a picture of something he likes, says afterwards: I have it in the box.
Dreams are not for being held to. A dream record maps a getaway movement. The figures escape, the dreamer can’t find out, he ges lost and doesn’t find his way home. Dreams are slipped away langrage, words that evade being seized, letters that do not combine into words. Those who wake up have their trouble for nothing. They are surviving dependants. Beside their bed there are notebooks full of scribblings, scrawl by magic, poems in a child’s writing that don’t combine into verses. Afrika spelt with k, for instance, or expeditions without baggage.
Whoever dies doesn’t close his eyes, though one usually says so. On the contrary, the dying’s lids burst open. Death preserves the view. Whoever looks into this box, sees death for the fraction of a second and survives it. One’s own eye, closed, can’t see itself. At least not live.
Anyone who dreams, closes both eyes. The dreamer is a blind prophet: Theresias who, for the morning after, pictures to himself what has not happened yet. Anyone who tells a dream, is lying. He invents the beginning, the point and the meaning. Last night I dreamt of a Klotz – a clod, silvery grey, with sharp edges. That which engraves itself like Braille is the rest. That of which no idea exists.
I SPY WITH MY LITTLE EYE