The 2nd coming

13.12 2011


"The 2nd Coming" event took place on Friday the 13th, 2013, a year and a day after CHR staged its institutional 'death', through the window-frame “We are absolutely ending this”.

"The 2nd Coming", like a ghost, is a symptom. It is a sign that the past is never past, and that the future is not only to come, it is already partly there. Those who initially took a leap out the window must now sway towards another door. Sway, not because the trip is better, not because it is more grounded, but rather to stagger and remember Bessie Head's teacher who hides in the toilet from the principal in order to take a few sips of his brandy. 

The blissful few sips turn into a few more, leading to intoxication. The hiding becomes reversed as the now drunk teacher opens the outward door, takes a few sips, closes the door, and looks for the principal inside the toilet.* 

Perhaps the lesson here is still: it is not that difficult for one to settle back into a position one tries to escape or reject. After all, being something that had a right to exist – obviously – one has also the right to die, from time to time. 

The institution was never Hotel California; you could check out, you could leave. This time, if you do come around, it will not be a repetition, a reappearance or a return, but rather a story that has already been told. The center cannot hold. Things do fall apart. 

In this event CHR also launched a web-based archive designed by CHR intern Ngceboyethu Ndlovu, assisted by Charlotte Noack.

* P. 23 Bessie Head, “A Question of Power” 1974
The CHR internship was made possible with the support of the Visual Arts Network of South Africa (VANSA) and Africalia.