Open City

Henrietta Müller – Letter to My Parents

My dear parents,

This is a report to show to you how well I am doing here, since I couldn’t fly to Transylvania as I was supposed to do, this March. I know that none of you speak English but I gotta tell it this way.

I made a video for you, somewhere I will put a link. I was working on it on the 8th of April 2020, a freaky fool full moon. I couldn’t sleep. At 4:43am the rendering was almost done, and I wrote this text.

Have to tell u, as u can see, I still dance a lot. I also lost some weight since we saw each other last October. I can show you in this video that my apartment is cosy, got a garden. I am a daughter of a farmer in the end, so no worries, the seeds are planted.

Oh mum look, I remember, you telling me that I can’t make money out of drawing lines all day long, check out that dracula painting. Yeah, we both know it now, I am not going to make money out of that either. I hope you are dealing well with your depression, I sensed that this pandemic actually cheers up ppl who are struggling with their “downs”.

Something sweet: my cat Mila, she is always on a trip, but omg she is such a graceful company to have. we take care of each other. In the video she is sitting on the fence and wonders about why I cut her nails so short.

I also made some more art since we met last time, working with Ana Brumat on our ‘av’ project ‘babeurs/044’. It’s going well. Right now she is in Slovenia and keeps making bad jokes about everything. We built our installation in Groningen last year. And we showed it in December at WORM’s 23rd birthday ‘day festival’ too, here in Rotterdam. We played just before SADO OPERA, it was a humbling experience, u can believe me. This year we were invited to the Art Week Rotterdam, to participate on The New Current’s week-long expo. And lastly, we built the installation and played live ambient on the 12th of March at Sonaural.’s 2nd edition , organised by Jacques Kayser. An amusing name I know, but such a sweet person. The event was closed, but open to the organisers and artists because the regulations on cancelling events in the Netherlands happened literally on that day. I am not sure if any of this counts now. Whatever. One day we are going to Japan for sure, she actually wants to move there and I think she definitely should.

Dear father, I know you miss me a lot, I think about you and as you can hear, I plaaaay piano! I remember you having that tiny Casio keyboard when my sister and me were kids. I wish I had that one now, tho I have nice instruments, don’t worry.

I keep healthy and practice my yoga. My mind is calm and I have enough head space for a lot of spontaneous and playful things. I read and write a lot and with my friends — believe me, I got a bunch of them — we keep criticising the actual craziness happening around us, as we know better… hmm.. But I stay humble, sometimes I use words, ones I can’t even recall where I learned them, maybe from Huxley?

Well, you both taught me how to ask politely and say thank you for everything. I gotta be honest, here not everybody likes this, u know u have to grow this concrete jungle face and push people around. But I found my places all over the city, I feel home in ‘Roffa’. I still got my job at WORM, they think I am funny. There we are the community who actually do things for outsiders and the unconventional thinkers.

In other communities people sometimes underestimate me, but they also don’t know that I buried three of my horses and I looked deep into the eye of a bear from 6 metres when I was 16. This sounds comical for me too, but helps to deal with inner fears.

Ppl are different here, they don’t appreciate as much, they don’t talk to their neighbours as much, they don’t hug enough.

I stay vegan, I educate myself and I support culture. I challenge myself with new things as always. I am learning a lot about sustainability and independence and focus on small matters, as much as on the whole picture. The forms or differences between mediums; such as hardware or software, are keeping me busy, and yes, I can make some money with my art too.

I totally forgot to mention it, don’t worry, I am not going to die because of the virus. And, my dear parents, let me know, how are you doing? My apologies if I have been sarcastic again, but u know me.

I am aware of the love you feel towards me, in these uncertain times I dive into the “structure and feel” of it. Even if I can’t do so openly — that would violate the rule of silence — am I obliged in one way or another to seek absolution for my way of life, or at least distract from it, obscure it? Am I finding absolution courtesy of my almost unbearable garrulousness? I rather think these thoughts make my work melancholic.

I gotta leave you on this note, before the CPU overloads or I get lost in my own logic. I promise I will call u more often.

PS: Around the end there are some images about Béla, one of our workers, hope he does not mind to be on YoutTube, tho’ I don’t think he will realise it next to the cows.

PPS: Please please please watch it this time, this is a cute one. I choose to not bother with colour grading and I know I am not (yet) a Mandy Parnell with my mixing/mastering skills. So I hope the sound will not freak you out. I know, you will laugh because you are aware that the only freedom I got, to make my own choices.

“We all shat in the same way”

Your sweetest, Heni


Henrietta Müller HU/RO (09.02.1992), Rotterdam, The Netherlands

IMACO EPISODE #6: Philemon Mukarno

Open City

2016-08: Moor Mother Goddess (US)

Residencies

Sonaural.02 v Corona: 12 March 2020

Get a Room!: ​Manon van Driel