Earlier this year, in a state of grief combined with a downswing of my mental pendulum, I tried to write a short story. It followed two riders who continually criss-crossed the North American continent via horse and wagon, surveilled by their reconnaissance drone, after some unspoken apocalyptic event. My riders had a role. The role hidden in the patriarchal, colonial violence of »The Cowboy,« a role of love, palliative, and end-of-life care for animals and humans alike (think of Chloé Zhao’s The Rider and Valeska Grisebach’s Western).
Uma Breakdown / UK — Dez 15, 2020
My riders would travel to where they were summoned, and stay with those approaching death and later carry the bodies back to a site where once long ago a »Body Farm« existed. Here, scavenging creatures still remember, and that previous form of research has folded into a new kind of knowledge-making that would have been recognized by Melanie Klein or Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick as »the reparative.« In depression, we enter a void to make new tools through repetition in darkness. Doom as production: the riders are endlessly called out.
This story fragment is my starting point for a series of diagrammatic digital drawings, each with a parallel speech-audio elements that divines a story these same drawings. Each is an unstable constellation concerned with horror rebuilt as love. Each drawing is repeated/remade in new versions, and so is the audio. There are repeated attempts at showing/telling the love/grief stories, which shift in sympathy to the telling.
Uma Breakdown is a disabled artist/writer/researcher working around horror studies, feminist literature, and queer RPGs. This year they finished a PhD about The Evil Dead, care, trans* écriture féminine, disaster, and play. In 2020, they presented a plant horror RPG at Kim?, Riga; a video game about sleeping on the ground next to animals for FACT, Liverpool; and a short story about SSRIs and Artaud for Ma Bibliothèque. They are currently researching criminality as love/writing in Genet and Cixous.
© 2023 Akademie Schloss Solitude and the author