Blank: Hiroshima Mon Amour

The salt of the stones
She is in a universe of walls
A man’s memory in these walls,
one with the stone, the air, the earth
My body was aflame with his memory

Not guilty
She treats her child with rough tenderness
Terrifying childhood

Women behind shutters
watch the enemy walking across the square
In the ruins, in winter, the wind blows
In my memory

Where I was born is inseparable from myself

I meet you
I remember you
Who are you
You destroy me
I was hungry
I always have been
I waited for you calmly
With infinite patience
The sun will never rise again on anyone
Never, never again
You destroy me
You’re so good

We’ll have nothing else to do but to mourn the departed day
A time will come
By slow degrees the world will fade
From our memory
Stay with me

I have to leave
by night
Fourteen years have passed
I don’t remember
The pain, I still remember the pain a little
But one day I won’t remember it any more
Not at all

I think that was when I got over my hate
I’m becoming reasonable
They say: She’s becoming reasonable

I’ll forget you,
Look how I’m forgetting you!
Look at me!

Ilse Frech

Ilse Frech (1972, Amsterdam) is a visual artist, documentary photographer, and filmmaker. She studied Photography at the Royal Academy for Fine Arts, Architecture and Music in The Hague (1990-94). In 2013, she earned a Master’s degree from the University of Art and Design, HEAD-Geneva, in Fine Arts and Contemporary Artistic Practices, major Visual Arts. Identity related to political heritage, myth, war, exile and trauma embody her practice situated between the interplay of documentary, re-enactment, poetry and fiction. From March 1st - June 1st, Ilse Frech has been artist-in-residence at Ashkal Alwan – The Lebanese Association for Plastic Arts, in affiliation with The Mon-driaan Foundation (The Netherlands), during which she researched the theme of war and its multiple carriers of memory, closely related to Beirut and Lebanon’s history. This resulted in a collaborative improvisational performance titled “Fugacious Presence,” presented May 27th at Ashkal Alwan as part of her two-fold project of which a film is in the making, both works-in-progress.

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