Ivan Vladilasvic on Johannesburg


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Foto: Marietta Kesting

When a house has been alarmed, it becomes explosive. It must be armed and disarmed several times per day. When it is armed, by the touching of keys upon a pad, it emits a whine that send the occupants rushing out, hanging the door behind them. There are no leisurely departures: there is no time for second thoughts, from taking a scarf from the hook behind the door, for checking that the answering machine is on, for a final look in the mirror on the way through the hallway. There are no savoured homecomings either: you do not unwind into such a house, kicking off your shoes, breathing the familiar air. Every departure is precipitate, every arrival is a scraping-in.

In an alarmed house, you awake in the small hours to find the room unnaturally light. The keys on the touch pad are aglow qith luminous, clinical green, like a night light for a child who’s afraid of the dark.

Ivan Vladislavic: Portrait with keys. Joburg & what-what

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