Vera Mennens

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the Events between the Events (2017-)
I took the stone from her hands and examined it for a little while, considering throwing it over the edge of the cliff. Whilst still in my hands the stone became like an object locked away behind glass. A curiosity at which you would glimpse at as a child, barely tall enough to reach the shelf carrying it. I looked at my grandmothers kind face and noticed she had dark brown hair I had never seen in real life. Once, she was a breathing person and now she only exists as a memory, resigning agency to the imagination of the ones who are still living. A mere memory of her physicality and legacy, eroded by time as the steep rock walls before us, her reality slowly reclaimed within myself.


I see a man standing on top of the peak, face towards the valley with his right hand inside his jacket just right before the moment he storms down into the snow and disappears in the wind. The same wind reaches my body a few moments later and I stop walking facing the sun which appears from behind the clouds. On the spot where I just saw the man dark clouds are gathering as if the storm is coming towards us, as smoke rising up to the sky.  A loud thunder sound goes over the mountains, as a gunshot in the distance and due to this sudden loud noice I automatically start walking backwards, faster and faster until I quickly turn around and start running.


In a museum located a castle near the border of  Germany and the Czech Republic I came across a silhouette of Napoleon carved out in the entrance wall. 1,65 meters tall, excluding his hat, exact the same height as I am now. Although not really of importance compared to his battles, his height is something people speculated about through time. I realize the only real measurement we could really take serious is his death mask taken two days after his death, from which we can imagine building a body.  Since I can not experience the past by going back in time, the only thing I can rely on is the documented experience and evidence of others.  History survives in three ways, in stories, the landscape and in objects. But when writing about histories we have to remember who we are ourselves as writers. When describing, a process or a method I used in my research, as walking, you arrive at a strange, though, interesting point at a certain moment. Instead of writing about yourself, the self becomes a fictitious member of the narrative. When memories, dreams, and encounters on the journeys are being weaved together with historical writings and data you slowly become an observer of the self you are describing on paper.


stills video essay 'the events between the events', 2017