Adagio for A


Spatial Installation, drawings, readymade, wood


Boris Beja: Vrtača

The apartment is cold. Very bright in daytime.

She starts very early in the morning. She only stops for lunch, with a break for a cup of tea in between, to allow the strings to settle, to cool down.

The best part is the tuning of the instrument, when the bow follows the shape of the bridge and the sound of the string colors with another, into thirds, fifths or fourths.

Sometimes I hear her from the top of our street on my way home. The light in the hallway disrupts her, reminding her it’s time to rest.

We have organized our lives past each other. We have different schedules, work, rhythm, gait, the way we open doors, including those on the kitchen cabinets and the refrigerator.
We stay out of each other’s way and sometimes we are happy not to meet, and are pleased to have gone the whole day without our eyes meeting. But the sound of the instrument remains. Filling all the rooms of our home.

The sound even travels down the drain, to our neighbors and across, even through the glass and out into the street.

She plays.
She plays the game. And plays over and over.

At times, the bow travels smoothly along the strings, at others with difficulty, making me wonder why the neck or the body don’t break under the strain, the anger, the effort, the persistence, the games.

We are both disciplined.

I create my works in the dining room to the sounds of the violin, works I can close, put away, mute, hide. Her art, on the other hand, is all around and next to me all the time.

Sometimes I manage to tune it out, at other times I find it harder to concentrate and work. Now the bow travels along the strings somewhere else. The noise has been replaced by silence and emptiness.

This is like a way into the cosmos, like the climax in the Adagietto of Mahler’s Fifth Symphony, when the strings crescendo to forte, the harp resonates into thunder and the last bit on the way to the finale is provided by the double bass.