Ida Lennartsson An udder kiss
An udder kiss Ida Lennartsson
During night time, in the west-coast village Volda, July 2016. Dreaming.
Riding a train to arrive in a small village. People seated with their backs to the windows, which are narrow and high up on the curved cold metal-sheet wall, seated like on a London or Tokyo tube.
As we reach one destination: All desert. I alight. The population is centred on a cafe, much like an oasis, it is serving both inside and out. Billowing light curtains, sand, a certain smell of dry and tan.
Hanan with shining curly long willowy hair would like to talk with me. She asks: "inside or out?" in her crisp, elegant, full voice. My eyes sweep the place. Some furred creatures (all sacks of bone) are running about kicking up puffs of ocher dust. Their anatomy remains not clearly dividable into legs, scull, tails, tongues, paws. Much like gears running within a systematic, repetative but not to an unassisted eye visible structure, or tumbleweeds, they bound about without purpose or end. They seem harmless. We sit outside on low benches, our backs to a dusty beige brick wall. It is shade here but not chilly. We drink a coffee as amazing as dark, thick sour fermented juice. A waiter comes by, looking in my eyes for a long time, states that I am familiar to her. It cannot be, I was never here. She climbs a rope and makes some gravity exploring tricks then withdraws with the cafe. The fur-creatures keep bounding about, their skin flaky, and they are pushing their poor bodies against our legs. Not asking for chewings, but placing their big bony heads near our laps, displaying large, wet teeth and gum, heaving for breath, offering up brushes. Noticing the distance to the cafe has grown. A dust-covered expanse divides us from a brand of civilisation. The flesh of my thighs are soft and very bitable. I try to kick the bone-bag creatures off, disgusted. A friend rolls me a smoke, from a pack of rizla-paper, the surface covered in watercolour painted waves of lilac, blue and sharp green. Which I have brought, but I do not ken the art of rolling. Hanan bends down to take one of the sticks offered by the furry creatures saying: "look, it is not dangerous, it just wants us to brush off the dirt-patch". And she combs through the fur and the creature nuzzles towards her, and from it a human emerges to sit next to us and smoke the dry herb and drink the juice on the bench in the shadow of the desert.
What was the human scarecrows?
Lennartsson's An udder kiss investigates how the abject materiality of liquid (milk) and body (meat) is obscured by our perception of reality. The agricultural industry has managed to bring the slaughter of living beings into a purified, almost artificial and friendly form of representation. When do we lose touch with the reality of inherent violence and environmental degradation caused by the industry?
Ida Lennartsson (b. 1982, Mjölby, SW) lives and works in Berlin.