Take a street, a busy street, any city street, what do you see? I speak here of the daytime, the hours of waking life, the hours of walking. For what is most significant between our bedtimes is the walk. That intentional displacement of the body from within itself, an inner movement, an experience. When the body is moved by an outer force as when it is conveyed in cars, lifts, planes or escalators, the body is instinctively at a loss; the inner movement is arrested while we witness an actual and mysterious displacement. Moving stairs are in fact a curiosity, the body never fully knows how to react, what to do. It carries on in a state of surprise, a suspension of disbelief, which for all its pleasant novelty soon tires its natural flow and disturbs its biorhythm.




Why can we not inhabit the modern city street? Unlike the square (a holding space of meeting paths) the street is essentially for passing. Only tramps and exiles can survive the modern street: I include here all tourists and aliens. The rest of us like the condemned, the code named, we walk the paddock vainly in the hope of freedom only to experience its usual distance. Now and then we scuttle along to seek refuge in yet another shopping mall, yet another cage from which we will run once more.




Take that street when it was first built, laid out in line to connect and more. Its focus is in the distance, referential. For the moment the street is there for passing, a miniature journey of untold possibilities. A manifold that is essentially aim-less as it unfolds, its voice is polyphonous - not univocal. The many tongues it speaks are all calling. Not always to communicate, to instill a dialogue but ostensibly to focalise, to hook, to entice the wandering attention. The street offers itself; even what it withholds is out on display, visible from a distance. A solid wall is an anathema to the street's very being, that being in which the buildings and passers-by intermix.




Where is that street before the flow and counterflow, that street of chance, of paths that met by fate, face to face with the gutsy spontaneity of life?




A very different world is all around us in its order and space to note and obey. These streets were never made for the tumultuous traffic flow the modern city street is off to boast about while it suffers contradictory desires. The modern street wants to be, to emplace itself in a solid form, and at once not to be, like a mirror in retreat, a backdrop to all the flux. A schizophrenic modern streetscape as no distinct entities mix here to a logical twist. What is tragic about the modern street is no crisis of identity or function but simply its non-existence.




The death of the street is our death also for no one is outside their culture or their times. What we have left of the street is a decomposing corpse that no longer answers to our call. Bent over its bones we are in terror as we see that it was every one of us who lent hand to the murderous deed. The street is no more; even to bury it seems like an empty gesture.




Begin to discover again that life inhabits farther than thought can reach, that the way of un-learning is the only way forward to what is.




Take a tale from The Thousand and One Nights, the tale of The Magic Carpet. Imagine it woven from the fabric of life, from meanings and words, all substantial yet never just so. To your touch it will feel as if its yarn came from another world, from another order of things, and here in that intricate weave became infinite, impossible in its manner of being. This is the order of magic. To apprehend it, to authenticate the order of what is, you must look deeply yet not reason for magic is beyond reason's reach. It is beyond the surface patter of the rug, it is in the weave, in those twisted roots and branches of life.




In this no ordinary Garden of Approximations, no ego-system, no ego-centric circles in the rye. No human hand made room here for a fragile self for this is jungle and it exists to a different law. A law obedient to none for it is always thus. It neither pleads nor holds its spell through force for it is all, and thus leaves other gods, pretender kings, no land nor subjects of whom to take possession.




Look again and you will see that it's not easy as might be to apprehend that primal law for what we know is what we see, that old pile, no more. For look, that hungry look of one who wants to see so nimbly petrifies and yields no life, hardly bits and pieces good only to be strewn about for lesser bugs to feed upon. No method leads to truth for truth inhabits life and like of life no favours can one ask of truth nor limit its domain.




The empty subject all props left behind goes down on hands and knees nakedly to dive. To plunge into the body earth to singularly be, and thus contain the divide between esse and precipi which logic grants to ease the pain of all who are and for a moment who know they are.


A street of faces in-turned. Again, what do you see? A street of faces interred. In this hour of hours, no longer a time of day or night, only a time of getting there to that silent end.


This street is no longer here. Every moment is a past. Like in an old photograph the images of the personal and the unexpected look faded, romanticised, unreal. This street's no longer here for you and me as only accidents can bring halt to its vacant procession. And soon not even you or me, for as pedestrians now we are like pilgrims in to the promised land of the human street which like the body of a long dead saint in bits lies regulated to the margins of the flow, to sepulchres decreed to life pedestrian.


The new street unbecomes the moment its obvious functions are exhausted. Hence the emptiness and insubstantiality of the pedestrianized street. The zone exists only accidentally, phantasm like, merely through its attributes. It does not endure in itself and thus sustains only a fragment of the potential street-life. Even the one social figure that it is primarily meant to in-form, that of socio-cultural acknowledgement, the pedestrianized street can barely cradle. "I see that you are there" is its singular sanctioned phrase, anything else soon becomes painful for pain is the price the body pays for a lie. Yet it is only through the sacrifice of presence - of that being there - and the enactment of fantasy - of desire - that this figure's limitations, this street's boundaries, these bodily constrictions, can be overcome. Hence the paradox. To be free of this imposition one enacts a lie. This deliberate action of denial liberates but only momentarily, next to re-incarnate the alienating forces on the inside. Whence the debilitating spiral of a repeated expenditure of life's energies - ever in the struggle to be oneself - to maintain a sense of truth to the living subject. To be in this street fully is to be suffocated, yet to free oneself of this imposition means to enact a lie; to pretend to be another who is free or pretend to be somewhere other, not here. Thus a sense of true being is allowed you only intermittently, at that repeated moment of the coup d'état, when the body swings - pendulum like - between the inner and the outer lie. And with every such swing the successive realisations become ever fainter, and leave the subject exhausted apparently to no avail. For the meaning of that struggle like the shadow forever eludes - how many times can you hear an echo as new or re-live a déjà-vu - leading the subject continually off the mark yet in hot pursuit. For to be oneself is never through these swings of to and fro as it lies only in stillness - at that mid-point - when you are at one with the force.


dublin contact: marek bogacki phone: (+3531) 872 3016 address: 6, Lower Ormond Quay, Dublin 1 email: