(Text by Cosimo Suglia)
Note: The following text first appeared in a literary zine by our editor Cosimo Suglia. It was a special-made zine for the Luxembourgish book fair Walfer Bicherdeeg 2022 — the concept and main theme of the zine is simple: 4OUR. There are four stories in the zine, two in English and two in Luxembourgish. There are four acts to each story. And, lastly, the stories were written four you. In the span of the next weeks, the stories will be published here on Aner Welten. The idea behind the zine, was to introduce the local reading community to alternative ways of publishing literature. We thus highly encourage others to research what zines are and perhaps emulate our effort!
Four a future full of literature and art. Four a future full of speculative fiction. Four a future full of zines.
He killed himself in front of the KUMU Art Museum in Tallinn.
That is in Estonia. He took out a revolver, an old one. Experts identified the gun as a Bodeo Model 1889. Ancient ware, as far as guns go. It belonged to his grandfather. Mostly used in World War I by the Kingdom of Italy.
Serfs fighting for the nation-state. Death for the rich!
Initials were carved on the barrel:
I. EB. Enzio Boccioni.
Not his grandfather’s name. It was his. Enzio. Boccioni. Forged a legend, in Estonia, in Italy, and everywhere else. In front of the KUMU, there is now a statue of Enzio. He died and became forever. He shot himself and he turned to stone.
Medusa. That’s the name of the artwork.
I made it. Enzio talks to me. Sometimes. Even though he is dead. But the dead do speak.
That’s why the names of the dead are etched all over the place. Names that speak. Death that speaks. The past, haunting, looming. A spectre. Tight, translucent fabric pushing against a chest.
I saw Enzio die. He had live-streamed it.
Imagine: an artist, so influential, so sought after that he had to go into hiding, chooses to come out of his hiding and asks the world to follow his journey through the Baltic states. The reactions were many. Negative. Positive. “Who cares?” some asked. “We do,” others responded.
A female art student, alone, in a new city. A new life.
Enzio started in Vilnius, Lithuania. He walked the old town. We, the viewers, heard his boots scrape the pavement. We heard his shallow breath when he became tired and irritated. His lungs were full with the tar of unfiltered cigarettes he liked to smoke so much. Every so often, because he travelled in winter, we weren’t sure if the smoke on the stream were him exhaling or a lit cigarette.
He talked about Gavelis and Škėma. He still does. Lithuanian authors who were foreign to us, but are not anymore. Every time I fuck a woman, I hear Enzio talk about Gravelis. I hear him talk about the grotesque part of life that makes it beautiful, enjoyable, lustful. Like the human body, says Enzio. Like climax, he adds.
And I – maybe naïve – listen. Take his words. Turn them dogmatic. I am a dog.
Because Enzio speaks, to me.
It was on the outskirts of Riga, Latvia, where Enzio had shown first signs.
It was grim. The stream felt weird, cringe almost. All of us watching. Watching a man descend into the insane. Enzio thought he could speak Latvian. He passed heavy-handed men and spewed sounds at them. Untelligable.
The men wouldn’t respond. They would walk off. We should have too. But we thought it was art. Enzio was performing. We admired him, initially. A master at work.
But masters were working him. That’s what he told me when I made him.
I made him in his own image. Stoic, stout, yet slim and steady. I used obsidian. For most of it, anyway. His eyes though, white marble. Enzio’s wish. Enzio’s command.
On the beaches of Latvia, Enzio used to point at the sand, tell the stream it was marble. Calcified stars, fallen from the eye of the universe. He told us, the rocks and sand corns, which were not marble for us, but marble for him, were shells. Abandoned shells of seeds. Seeds that crawled into the water and became fish and salt. Seeds that buried themselves in the sand and became worms, rodents and ore. Seeds that were pulled by the gust of wind into the sky, so they could turn into clouds, thunder and birds. And seeds that decomposed on the spot, moulding, until forests and moss and bogs spawned frogs and toads and beetles and man.
As he entered Estonia, he saw people with bull horns on the side of country roads. We did not. We saw empty fences and indigo mountains. We, the few who kept watching him. The few who thought that he was being artistic, performative, and theatrical.
He talked to us.
And we to him.
Symbiosis, like viewers to a stream.
Symbiosis, like Enzio talking through me.
Symbiosis, like a bullet through your brain.
The KUMU Art Museum in Tallin, Estonia, is brutalist in nature. An oxymoron, brutalism and nature.
Enzio stood in the grey yard, to the left. To the left, if you want to enter the museum. On the right, if you leave it. But it doesn’t matter, because Enzio has eyes, marble eyes on both sides of his face. He sees you.
But he only talks to me.
He told me: the first thing he remembers was the cold of the gun as it pushes the back of his tongue down. A little further and he would’ve gagged. If he had, he wouldn’t have done it. But he did. He looked at the crowd, back then, not a lot of people. Families, some. Tourists, a few. A man with round glasses. He was attractive, he tells me. He would’ve asked him for a coffee. Probably a post-doc, interested in art. He saw it in his eyes. He got recognized. But that look changed, as soon as the post-doc realized what was happening. And before he opened his mouth, to scream, perhaps to gasp, Enzio pulled the trigger.
The heat. That’s what he tells me. The heat is what he remembers last. How the cold of the metal turned to magma. How one thing changes to another. A click. That’s it. It’s alchemy, is it not?
I don’t know, I tell him.
But he is right. It changes. In an instance. From cold to warmth. From recognition and admiration to fear and worry. From life to death.
He is right. Enzio.
For me, it’s the same. I wonder if they’ll build a statue for me too.
But for that to happen, I need to talk to someone.
Enzio speaks. I speak too.