Lettera delle 8.17, 2016

Performance / Video

A letter written by Silvia Giambrone. The performance includes the projection of the video installation August 6th, mon amour


My darling,

I have finally found the strength to write the letter you hoped you would never read, because this means it’s late. In all these years I have felt I have wronged you by saying that I was not guilty of anything. Guilt is a heavy and silent armour, made to measure to those who strike it, not those who wear it. But guilt remains a shelter. And it seems that adapts to the size of the self, in the same way as the goldfish grows to fit the bowl in which it lives.
I have written hundreds of letters to hundreds of people so as not to write one, only one, to you. I didn’t know how to speak to you, I didn’t even know your face anymore, (or) how you would have taken these words which come too late – and yet it’s still early.
Every time I touched a photo of you I felt a sharp pain in my heart; your smile was a betrayal, every time.
I don’t know whether you betrayed me or I betrayed you, but your innocence made me shiver and the joy of your face brought new challenges every time. Maybe it was anger, or maybe envy, for that shimmer in your eye which the mirror no longer revealed.

How could they have done this to you? How had I let them? For so long I scolded you for being unable to protect yourself from those who loved you so much,
for not rising up against that hellish…
for having accepted the extortion of days, hours, minutes, years.
For having survived. Your guilt was your trophy, and your joy the most glorious of alms.

She was the world, she was a deep well, her gaze was your horizon and you protected her the way heroes shield death.

You have lived with the thought that there was something deeply wrong in you if life had not killed you, and so your strength was your curse and your joy your punishment.
I have few words to ask for your forgiveness, the words have not been invented yet; perhaps you’ll find them in that nocturnal language which slips away from the bed like a bold lover.
Today the tears have dried and you sit comfortably in your photograph. Since you returned your smile and your happy fragility to me I can go back to tickling you and brushing a daisy over your ears.
And I don’t only wish for your forgiveness, I’m asking for all your love, now that you know how difficult it is to accept it, for those who have learnt
to their cost
how much it is worth.