Liam Gillick’s ‘Letter from Moscow’, September 21

This is the first in a series of letters Liam Gillick will write as his contribution for the 6th Moscow Biennale.

Originally published on the Moscow Biennale website:
As the ghost of the Moscow Biennial Liam Gillick will be present from afar. His contribution may become perceivable as a response to a keynote, or via other channels the program is offering – for example as a daily biennial-bulletin or letter.

121, PROSPEKT MIRA, MOSCOW

Letter from Moscow
Monday September 21, 2015

There is an old saying here that in the future there will be no difference between waste and energy. What used to make sense no longer has any traction at a time when discourse has replaced action. The weather is clear right now. But it will get warmer throughout the week. Talk on the streets has been of the re-election of the Greek government. Tsipras have played a smart game. I leave my apartment here every morning and head down to the café on the corner. I have gotten to know the girl behind the bar. We attempt to talk about political strategy but I know she is laughing at me — though a strange pity shows in her eyes. She told me the other day that her boyfriend thinks I am a fool. That European progressives see something in this Tsipras thing that is merely a reflection of their own weakness and lack of control. Tsipras for him means nothing. And as a result — it means I have no grasp of the inherent corruption of the European Union. I need to find a new café but the pity in those eyes keeps me coming back.

I made a list of varied “izations” on the paper table cloths that they love here. “Virtualisation”, “containerization”, “orchestration”. I was on a roll. The girl came over to see if I needed more coffee or a shot of something to pick me up a little. Fury for a second. Then she deliberately spilt my cup across the table. Fussing around and talking to herself under her breath she furiously wiped the paper — smearing my notes. It took a second to realize that she was talking to me — not to herself.

“What?”

“Beat me gat thu delta quake.”

“What?”

“Sorry?”

“Meet me at a data snake”

“I am really sorry. But I can’t understand…”

My Russian is still rusty and not up to snuff…

Reeling she dropped the cup to the ground. Bending to pick it up she spoke clearly into my left ear.

“Meet me at the Data Lake.”

I grabbed my book and my phone and left quickly for the apartment. Until tomorrow…

Take care of yourself…

Береги себя

Liam