On the works of Britta Jonas


No beginning, no end: a circle.
A hare, a woman, a hunter; a shiver, a pretending-all-is-fine, an attack, a fatal affright. There is the story of a hare, which was so scared it defecated. There is the story of a woman, who innocently grinds the rest into powder and boldly makes a hot drink. We know of the smoke, which is more than steam, from, which the headless hunter descents with a gun, which will eventually threaten the hare, which fearfully cowers, seeing its end coming soon. Then again the droppings, the broth, the ghostly hunter with his gun, the wide, wide-open eyes of the hare. The world is a loop, like a long known familiar song. So simple, so easy to remember. A truly beautiful pattern, very useful to decorate our everyday life with, lining up second after second on a long chain, until we notice, that we are turning, that the same patterns repeat themselves again and again, that we are caught in Ringelreihen.

As the big and the small ones.

How can we get rid of the spirits, which keep on haunting us? A whisper, a sigh spreads through the forest. We close our ears, the sighing turns into barking, we start running, but we do not get away as the dream let’s us tread on the same spot again and again. Our legs are bare stumps, the dogs are faster. They will get us.

Run hunter, run hunter, run, run, run…

As we wake up we chase the dogs in our dreams away with one light-handed wave and line them neatly up on the red lead of our supremacy, so that they hang to become more digestible. The scarce is banned. Until the next chase, in the next night. And so on and so forth. Always the same pattern.

When one presumes to start the game, it is already running.
One grabs a new hand; there is no escape from the rows, until death will part us. It is a permanent coming and going. At most some warmth remains after each assignment, the light pressure of ‘Go-on-take-this-it-is-my-memory’. Many traces become a community, from which no one restrains or can restrain. I am a part of everything I have encountered. This is the truth and nothing but the truth, we sigh, fingers crossed and push this awareness away, as our part yearns to be a different one. However, the image of us starts to blur. How shall we be able to grab that one thing properly, if there are so many of them. The primal behaviour reveals itself as a transferable picture of oldest traditions. It has been said many thousand times: ‘Give me your hand and let’s dance, give me your hand, I want to kiss you”. Says xx white. xx Red adds: ‘make sure our love is easy to inflame. And the chairs on which we sit, are hardly able to hold us.’ We balance on spiders’ webs, like shadows. As the big… . xx Black says though: ‘Before we fall free, rip out my heart, which wants to burn for you’.

The saw eats into the wood, the stencil is shaped. A piece of the world, at first felt and thought of as patterns, comes to existence, smiles protectively, due to its thin nature. All this, to be frank, is a mock, a game, and a plain theatre. Figurines enter and start to build relationships, of which none is without a burden. Memory is embossed and reveals itself in front of the watchful eye. Whatever was important once becomes an accessory of a laden ornamentation of a new experience. One piece fits the other and still does not fit into the chain.
The pieces rub against each other until they get hot. Disobedience however must be punished. Big Santa Claus is called and dips the cheeky elements in the black, black ink so that they look like black moors with long, long noses. He starts laughing at them: ‘Your disdainfulness shall be broken’ and: ‘Do not play with pictures’. Now the little ones laugh and pull faces. It does not put them off their round dance and they continue to turn round and round, as nothing has ever happened. Then the fire comes and eats up the wood. But even this is just a false conclusion and by far no solution for long.

You know it.

When the backdrops disappear, emptiness is left over. The smoke dissolves and reveals the view on the wide land, which has lost its actors. The stage, nothing more than floorboards, waits for the next play. Where have the shadows gone? Which stories have not been told yet? The saw awaits its next assignment, clothes are hanging shivering in the closet and hope for the one to wear them, they want to turn in circles, until the shoes are worn off from dancing.

But do not be afraid, you can be sure: soon the sound will fly by. Even if you close your ears, you have no choice. The whisper will get louder and louder: ‘Give me your hand and let’s dance, give me your hand, let’s love each other’ and so on and so forth, on and on, without any intentions, but then painful, without a beginning, without an end. It is a hunt. In a circle, over and over again, always Ringelreihen.

Jan Apitz

Translation: Lisa Bosse