Naming It Nicely 

Naming It Nicely 

text by Tamara Antonijevic 

concept by Malgorzata Wdowik

Zachęta – National Gallery of Art, Warsaw, Poland 



Naming it nicely

This is how it starts, again.

In front of you, there is a white wall.
On your left and right and behind you and above you, more white walls.
There is nothing unusual about the room, or the excessive amount of the white walls that keep you safe from the outside.

Then suddenly, the light goes off, of which you have no knowledge off, the power goes down and the street black out,

the door bangs, the wind starts kicking against the roof, the plant on the window sill tips over, the glass shatters in many shiny pieces, the rain starts licking the windows, Dogs begin to bark and the crows scream.

Don’t you think, that this could be a trap?

You brought your 288 limbs, with their 1152 fingers, each different from another, each special, with their 1152 nails, and dry skin around them,
some red,
some shiny,

and the other ones purple, blue, pink and neutral,

you brought your chapped lips with clumps of lipstick and saliva, all having distinct shapes and sizes,
a whole range of thin lower lips till those heavy, full, round pouts,
that one of your many snail like tongs discretely and casual touches and returns right away in its warm mouth cave,

there are 144 warm and moist armpits,
the same number of round, soft shoulders,
there are 14832 white, firm, strong bones,
there are 12 scar tissues, from broken bones, from removed appendixes, from kidney dysfunctions, from one cesarian section,
there are millions of eyelashes, moving in pairs, in an unknown and imprecise and untenable rhythm,
so that I know that you never see the same thing,
even if you seem to be gazing at the same spot, you never look at the same spot,
this somehow fascinates me,
your guts are moving with its acidic liquids and the lunch that is being dissolved in them,
you brought around 400 liters of blood in you, 400 liters of warm, fresh blood, pumping in the white, empty room, moving, doing it’s work,
keeping all of your cheeks warm, keeping those armpits soft and smelly,
keeping your attention on the highest point,

There is around 5000 kg of muscles, skin and bones, and saliva,
of colons and their contents, nipples,
hand wrists with their delicate and complex bone structures, calcium build teeth, prosthetic teeth,
long, thin, and short fat necks, there are hips, and uteruses, and hearts pumping,

and yet, all that will remain after you is a cloud of dead skin cells and fallen out hair and maybe some dirt from your shoes.

The floor is squeaking and on every of your many necks, you can feel a light breath, still not wanting anything more than to let you know, that it’s there.

Marta smashing things.

The woman worked hard.
She raised her hand and her stick, and she smashed the bowl, and the cup, and the phone, and the glass and the mirror and the chair, she smashed everything she could find and everything she could see, she smashed just as she saw and also imagined others smashing things, she heard of her mother braking plates in the kitchen, and she heard of friends, screaming in the pillow, and she heard of cursing words, and fights, and tears, and revengeful lovers smashing cars, and destroying living rooms and Chinese vases, but she has never seen anyone do like she wanted to do it.

Like work, like necessary, boring, hard work, that gives also a certain level of pleasure, the pleasure taken from knowing that what was needed has been done.

The exhaustion takes places where the excitement and the agility were only few minutes earlier.
You sucked on it.
You licked it, as it was a whole table spoon of Nutella, now sticky on your teeth, filling you with sweetness that you can’t kill no matter how much water you would drink,

you slurped as it was a big coffee with double cream and caramel syrup, in which you put some extra sugar, you devoured it, like a slice of your favorite pizza, with dripping mozzarella and fresh basil,
you observed the hand smashing the plate until it became only dust the same way you observe your lover, buttoning up a shirt, or putting cigarettes in the pocket in a very specific way, which would for some unknown reason makes you completely obsessed, You couldn’t get enough of it,

Like a desert, or affection,
It passed and it settled inside.

Outside, the rain, that was licking the windows, entered underneath them, pouring, without any violence, without any bad intention, and soaked your carpets, and your blankets, and your beds.
Outside, the wind was blowing and removed trees from their roots and smashed your cars with them.

Cigarette butts, plastic bags, brown and green and golden leaves fallen from the trees, glass, used condoms,
plastic cups, coca cola tins, cables and usb sticks, lost shoes, and scarfs,
wound plasters,

and remains of a vomit, that was sticking on the bar corner since last night, unrecog- nizable body parts of a cat that was run over by the traffic,
and pigeon feathers,
are running down the streets, next to the pavement,

going down, underneath, where you can’t see them anymore,
where you will not find them, before they rise up, taken by some unannounced, disinterested, and maybe even gentle flood.