Room Without Any Water In It

by and with Tamara Antonijevic, Lucia Kvočáková, Lucie, Mičíková, Tanja Šljivar, Nik Timková, Zuzana Žabková

Magicians get sick too.

Trapped Inside the spider web she gives birth to her-self and her nine children. Her friend guides her into the water she yet never entered, into the mud she comes from. It’s full moon, so she tears the petals off four roses because she wants to take a let go bath for her six legs and for her hurt feelings. She is doing this ritual remembering that magicians get sick too. She hates representations of rapes and she is not sure if her grandmother was raped, but even if she would be, there is no way to talk about it. She never wanted to die.

12/11 – 09/12/2019

ACUD Galerie, Berlin, Germany


Reading with Tamara Antonijevic and Tanja Šljivar

Afterparty by The Melancholy of Marissa Cooper in ACUD club

Room Without Any Water In It

How I joined the world of darkness and where did I come from? I came from mud, obviously.

So it was Giessen, when it was still possible to name such concepts such communities as German provinces, as small gray ruinedinseconworldwar towns, but right now it does not mean anything anymore, I know.

Giessen and Germany are now notions emptied and released of content. But that was the time of transitioning and I was still naming things as I learned them in geography classes and in google maps, and in front of me, at the beginning of it all (that was the beginning of it all speaking strictly for me, of course) I saw, clearly I saw, the river Lahn (another irrelevant toponym for us right now, I am aware of it.)

Lahn was muddy and full of big glass planes.

But I was doing Gestalt therapy (again,!! I know I will need a few more decades to unlearn everything that comes from there and to find replacements or more fitting notion to our current lightless situation here) but I knew after systemic constellations after hours and hours and hours of talks with my therapist that seeing water planes, seeing rivers and oceans and thermal baths and swimming pools and puddles and creeks was actually consequence and result of that very therapy, that it was my very willingness to immerse myself into my emotions into that dark organic world in which new possibilities for existence may flourish, now.

For her whole life, she keeps looking into the dark – but this darkness is the night of the ocean, so to speak of the emotion, and it is violet. (I was dark as well as was the hair of my witch-boss as was the mud that was my previous body that gave birth to my new body. Selfbirth. As in Selbstmord, only very very reverted. ) Water generally implies there is a possibility that you have emotions you wish to discover.


I was talking on the phone with Tamara and this is how I was able to survive all those glass planes all those partings whole this transitioning. Structural support and alliances we built back there enabled us to transcend here, where Universe is above us and also beneath our feet. So she knew the river as I knew it, from google maps and geography classes, but she unlike me was already also swimming in it, so she could navigate me, which she also successfully did. I tell her that I am pregnant and that child is Marko’s, and also like to explain on heterosexuality now would be both obsolete and needless. But at the time and back there we were still getting impregnated by male humans, which now, of course, would be inappropriate, technically impossible and even ridiculous. So I jump in that water, recklessly and thoughtlessly. The comrade is someone on whose neck you can place your own head, someone to whom you can give your own hands if she has none at the decisive moment when the enemy attacks.

So Tamara knows that swimming through such a river while being pregnant with a child by a hetero male would be a bit trickier than some other swimming undertakings, back then and there, but she nevertheless is persistent in helping me. Seeing dirty water (or swimming in it) can also symbolize a spiritual crisis of some kind.


Women are more fertile during a new moon and most likely to conceive during the darkest nights, say scientists. Women’s periods are in sync with the phases of the moon, a study has found. All around the world, cycles are most likely to start around the time of the full moon when night skies are the brightest.

Wolf moon Snow moon Worm moon Pink moon Flower Moon Strawberry moon Buck moon Sturgeon moon Harvest moon Full Corn moon Hunter’s moon Beaver moon Cold moon

Which of the full moons was the one under which i got my last period which of the full moons was the one under which I ovulated and conceived which of the fool moons was the one under which i gave birth to myself?

In Scorpio until November 10th, Mercury will want to talk about secrets, power, deeply embedded psychological issues, death, rebirth, and every horror it can get a hold of.   

So there I am in a room without any water in it, which makes me think that I have succeeded, that I have integrated traumas and so it will no longer be necessary to immerse into muddy waters but, sure enough, I am wrong –  it is still a long way to go. In this room, there are my father, my mother and my boss. Zuzana calls her a witch, which she might have been, hadn’t she confined the potentiality of her superpowers to earthly power of managing one theater house in an eastern European capital city. So it is my delivery time, and they are all there to help simply to help like Tamara did that both I and my child survive this labor.

But it is at the same time not me that is delivering not me that is giving birth but it is mud, cuboid-shaped mud and the baby is actually me. She is female short-haired with distinctive facial and bodily traits so not a baby at all actually despite being a newborn she has been there longer than I did, longer than many did, but still very small in terms of bodily size and wearing the very same violet nightgown which I wear while I am dreaming of this self birth. For her whole life, she keeps looking into the dark – but this darkness is the night of the ocean, so to speak of the emotion, and it is violet.




As in selbstmord. Just reverted, very reverted.


Hummus is the environment in which this constant metamorphosis occurs; it is both life-giving material and the process itself. Hummus is the intersection of biological species and states of being, of organic and inorganic.

The boss, the failed witch, is clapping her hands and I hope that if I ever go back there it might mean that she will give me another, less stressful job, the one of a dramaturge. The mother is the one that helped the most. The father was on the side, like always, passive, like always, letting mother do yet another affaire de femmes like always; and Marko was absent, was not there like always. So the mother is willing to help Tanja give birth to Tanja Tanja transiting Tanja transcending Tanja dreaming of herself giving birth to herself, but she is also a bit clumsy so she accidentally drops this baby which is not a baby at all but in deficiency of a more appropriate concept or name or notion or sign I am calling her a baby so that baby falls as if she was a plastic doll but gets only slightly scratched slightly damaged but the baby couldn’t care less. Life is sometimes cruel like this. Dreams as well. 

The artificially created permaculture environment of compost is a convenient parable for the means of coexistence. It is possible that by participating in this labor in one way or another me Tamara Marko Giessen Lahn glass empty room and the wooden table in it my mother my father my boss and a baby which is not baby but is a newborn reborn creature coming from the mud we all were actually performing a symbiotic ritual in which our aesthetic, biological, and existential realities were merging into the diverse flow of the experienced present.


I want to propose two paradigmatic strategies that people use to negotiate the competing demands of desire and the law: religion and magic. Religion helps one conform to the world, suprasystems of patriarchy and capitalism, subordinating desire to a codified law.

Magic, by contrast, invites one to make the world conform to one’s own desires, subordinating the law to the subject’s arbitrary rule. Accordingly, our culture knows at least two types of spiritual practices; these can be illustrated by the two different paths that a child who wants to become a magician might take. In one, the child turns to religion, establishing a relation of exchange with God and expecting the latter to grant her wishes. In the other, the child establishes a relation of exchange with the Devil instead; she gives him her soul, and in return, he gives her the ability to become a master magician and grant any wish herself. A person who becomes a magician has learned that something is fundamentally wrong – the world is unjust, and this order of things can, in fact, be changed miraculously.

A magician challenges the order of things dictated by God and nature. If the essential injustice of this reality – the domination of the rich over the poor, the strong over the weak, the living over the dead – is a law, she wants to transgress this law and impose her own will in its place.

Another slightly interesting thing is that after performing self birth ‘mother’ Tanja was no longer there. She bowed down to the mud to the darkness to the violet ocean to hummus and compost to nothingness which does not equal meaninglessness, let’s hope for that miracle. Let’s hope that baby Tanja was already a magician. Water did not flow in this room, never again, never after self birth.


The two or three or four girls eventually celebrate the fact that they will be mothers together. A plot of the Hollywood movie. Retro clothing, male clothing, nice bags, and always being pregnant with at least two more girlfriends alongside oneself, be it the girls from elementary school that are mothering for a while now, and this will be their third or fourth time, or be it your colleagues from an MA course who are primiparas like you are, is what provides the condition of not seeing water any more, in this room or any other, for that matter.

Of all planets in our solar system, ours is the only one with liquid water.   

Tanja Šljivar

1. One child that becomes 9.

Until now, I had nine children. One of them I drop on the floor. One of them I gave away and completely forgot about it. One was very fat and it kicked itself out of my hands. One was screaming until its lungs tore apart. One was feral like, biting and scratching, so I had to leave it in the woods. One I rolled into butcher’s paper and tried carrying it while driving a bicycle and it criticized me and said it should be taken to the doctor’s. One was very beautiful and laughing and I kissed its feet and it laughed even more, this one was good to me. One was a child version of an ex-lover and we compared our hands and his was much smaller. I said to him: one day you will have beautiful hands, which is true. One was very tiny and more like a rat, or a Sphinx cat cub, with wrinkly, dark pink skin and a small and mean face.

I think I had some more, but those I remember the best. It’s probably one and the same child, coming over and over again, like Abiku, the child spirit from Yoruba mythology, which dies and comes back, reborn several times to the same mother. The difference is that I don’t wish they would stay with me. Abiku couldn’t earn any money with me, there are no tears for him to catch and sell. There are no fathers, no worried neighbors, no land that someone has to inherit, no family to think that they’ve been cursed. It’s simply two of us, over and over and over again.

Sometimes I feel ashamed of losing them, like I did the most horrible thing a person can do, but this lasts only a few seconds.

The moment I open my eyes and see the darkness, I’m just relieved that no one is screaming for me.

2. Magicians get sick too

Some nights ago, a friend told me that he has a brain tumor and the night before another friend that he had a terrible car accident and is in the hospital now. I was petrified and couldn’t really say or do anything helpful. I decided to call them the next day and tell them how much I love them. In daylight things take another course.

Day is about breakfasts, plant-based milks, city transportation, numbers and letters on screens that form times, meanings, affects, over-salted stews, stomach and heart and head-aches, sudden dizziness, sweating, dry mouth, family calls, washing clothes, talking in a foreign language until you start wondering who is this person taking over your system, waiting in lines with a number in your hand, waiting in lines without a number in your hand, in short, about other people, their breaths, their gazes, their schedules, their will, their rules.

You meander. You come up with tricks and you’re constantly on the watch. You draw some conclusions on the basis of what has been confronted with you. But you’re not sure.

Can I say this? Was it correct what I heard? Should I not say anything? Was it right that I said what I said? Is it now the right moment? Or will it be tomorrow?

You think you will go mad, but you don’t. You think you will choke on it, but you somehow swallow it all. You seem to be able to take more. You don’t know where this capacity is coming from, no matter how closely you observe it. The nerve in your left eye keeps buzzing and you try to assemble something that will go against the gravity of how things are. Then the night comes and soon enough the alarm will go off and there will be no language to say things one imagines saying in the night. But they are there. But they are there.

3. May Rose Moo

Those were some conditions of the day, which I mostly wish to evade. Like, for example, looking at heavy flower heads in big, round concrete pots, placed on a street of one provincial German town. There are approximately 15 pots along the street. Each bush of flowers is so heavy that they collapse, almost touching the dirty pavement. Few of those flowers in each bush would have been enough to compliment the sight of the street, but someone wasn’t happy with that. Someone must have spotted the flower and decided to breed it in such a way that it will explode with buds and petals. Someone must have engineered it.

I keep passing them by, every day, and thinking of a person in a laboratory, looking under a microscope, analyzing the quality of that specific type of may rose’s genetic material.

After writing down some notes, the scientist enters a moist greenhouse filled with the same flowers, in all possible shades of purple, orange, red, budding, collapsing, petals falling, petals just popping out of their green hoods, the air poisoned with their sweet scent, impossible to bear, which is the reason the scientist is wearing a mask, as she takes one of the flower pots and disappears again into the blinding of the artificial laboratory light.

Looking at specimens in the street pot, I can’t imagine that this was a satisfying result of a long research. Was it then a laboratory mistake that someone else capitalized on? Does the scientist ever stop by a similar flower pot and wonder what went wrong in the equation? Or is it maybe, the high humidity and the air pressure of this specific provincial town, which is to be blamed for the unfortunate display of the roses?

With those heavy dangling heads, they remind me of cow udders that no one milked for more than a couple of days. I can almost hear a long tormented mooing every time I pass them by and sometimes I think I can see the milk dripping from the flower cups, so I have to close my eyes and pray that those white and orange petals fall off soon, so that the plant can finally rest.

4. I like storms and thunders.

My grandmother was very scared of them, which shows our similarities more than differences. I used to dislike her as a child because she was an angry, sad and violent woman. She would say harsh words and look at me piercingly with one healthy eye, sharp and shiny, the brow above it tensed, the other one almost closed, milky and watery pale blue. She always wore an indigo blue house robe. She would stare at the wall above her head and cry and wish to die. She would walk and clean and cook in the condition in which most people wouldn’t be able to get up from the bed. I never knew her healthy. She had very loud laughter, showing carelessly the remaining three or four teeth. Some days ago, she walked through my German apartment and managed to sit herself at the balcony, where I usually have cigarettes and wine in the evening. I thought how weak she was when she stood up and became very tall in a second: I did this to show you that even when you think I’m done, I’m never done and will never be done, she said.

5. A Daughter Fairy Tale

The daughter became fatherless when she was one year old.

Widows had the same rights as underaged men, gamblers and mentally ill, so the mother had to marry a cobbler and a leather maker, which made her a triple widow. She leaked from one house to another and then to the grave, under a fourth name since her birth. You can call her a shapeshifter. You can call her a trickster. You can also call her a guest, or even an intruder.

The daughter got a job in a factory that made kitchen and bathroom tiles and had one child outside of marriage. In marriage, she had a couple of abortions.

Once she left the husband and the child and worked as a maid for a couple of months in a hotel on the lake Bled in Slovenia. If you happen to be there and take one of those boats or just walk next to the lake, think of her coming alone from very far away, a bony young woman, in her early twenties, as she’s changing sheets in the early morning, thinking that something new is just about to happen.


On the night of the day she died, on 6th February six years ago, she walked through the house louder than she would if she was alive, so I couldn’t miss it or misinterpret it. She seemed to be very confused and absentminded (which is probably normal for someone who just died). I asked her if she wanted to die since she was so sick, and she looked straight into my eyes and said, no, I wanted to live.

Then her pale face decomposed in front of my eyes. I observed her skin shriveling and drying out like a raisin, turning dark, thinning out and falling off, and then the bones appeared, shining whitely underneath, like pebbles in the river.

7. A rape, which is only a representation, but reperesentation is not much

The air is thick with 187 gazes beaming from 374 eyes.

The hand is on the throat, it grabs the neck, or so it seems, since the movement of the head is being sustained by it, the woman is clutching her fingers into fists, the brows are tight, eyes closed, her face is turning into a grimace, as if she might start crying or screaming at any moment, but her jaw remains closed, biting itself, her head is turned to the left, so you can’t see her face anymore, only the hands putting an effort to push away the body coming over her, between her legs, a brown leather jacket is next to the table, the man unzipps his pants, she’s trying to move away, she’s gasping, he holds her down and grabs her left wrist, her right hand reaches across the table and grabs the edge, her hair is long and brown and it falls from the edge, lingers in the air, he starts breathing heavily, someone says oh my god, someone giggles.

Tamara Antonijevic