Reading Circle 08, curated by Malou Solfjeld

“Windows of imagination”
From imaginary drinks, meals, bartenders, friends and communities, that we’ve missed during isolation towards real-imaginary homecoming through #readingcontinuesathome. “Home, imagined, comes to be. It is real, earlier than any other place, but you can’t get to it unless your people show you how to imagine it— whoever your people are. They may not be your relatives. They may never have spoken your language. They may have been dead for a thousand years. They may be nothing but words printed on paper, ghosts of voices, shadows of minds. But they can guide you home. Books may not be “books,” of course, they may not be ink on wood pulp but a flicker of electronics. […] The technology is not what matters. Words are what matter. The sharing of words. The activation of imagination through the reading of words.” (quote: Ursula K Le Guin)
Reading list 08

Nina Vestmark and Mikkel Toft Madsen read
The Preserve Journal”
I met Nina and Mikkel last week in their little shop in Copenhagen called Oliviers & Co. They sell the most delicious olive oil products in the world, and what’s equally attractive is their warm, welcoming and intelligent personalities. They work with what they love, and they care for their colleagues at the Preserve Journal, who are equally passionate about contributing to a sustainable food culture. Together they read through “Windows of Imagination”, inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s fairytale “The little match girl” and their own longing to share meals with friends once again, when the restrictions loosen up.

Kosta Tonev reads
“The Shining”, written by Stephen King
We overhear a conversation between a man, losing his mind from isolation, longing so hard for a drink, that he hallucinates an imaginary bartender and 20 imaginary cocktails. He describes the bar so detailed that we get sucked into his illusion and this made me wonder if we will all wake up someday and realize that all of this (covid-crisis) never actually happened, it was just a bad dream, or maybe even a test to see how we would get through it? In case of the latter, I’m curious to hear the judgment: How did you manage to get through it? Did you become pregnant or did you divorce? Did you become so much more productive due to the lack of distractions, or did you learn that there’s other things than productivity to life? And so on.

(Remember that Bruno Latour points to the fact that this crisis is just a rehearsal for the climate crisis!) I’m asking myself these questions everyday, and I’m looking forward to discuss them with Kosta, whom I’ve never met in real life, only on zoom. I’m curious to learn his perspectives on “The Shining” and how he’s integrated the novel in his own artistic practice – can’t wait to be back in Vienna for studio visits again!

Aurea Cifuentes reads
“The Operating Instructions”, written by Ursula K. Le Guin
“All of us have to learn how to invent our lives, make them up, imagine them. We need to be taught these skills; we need guides to show us how. Without them, our lives get made up for us by other people….” I’m finally home in my own apartment, in Vesterbro, Copenhagen, and I’ve asked my neighbor – who is one of my beloved guides in life, whom I highly admire – to read this beautiful text by Ursula K Le Guin. The text functions, as the title suggests, as the operating instructions for a journey, as a “guide to the country we’re visiting, life. […] And though you’re usually alone when you read, you are in communion with another mind, you’ve joined in an act of the imagination.” (all quotes by Le Guin). I strongly recommend you to also read “The Carrier Bag Theory of Fiction“.