ghostly matters

“beyond my back fence is a communal garden, we have a gate that opens onto it, it is able to be accessed by over 60 flats. i think on average one person a week goes in there, very occasionally on a sunny day a group will sit at the bench. the space is occupied by a gang of stray cats, the extended family of a neighbour’s long haired ginger cat, they’re hostile and fight a lot. it could be a nice space, it probably is a nice space, when i go in there, i feel all the eyes of the surrounding flats and i worry about treading in cat shit. i would really like to connect with this space, i stare at it beyond my garden fence for at least 20 minutes every morning, watching for squirrels.

i don’t want to go there. i prefer it as somewhere I look.

i’ve been thinking about the things we see every day but that we never enter, spaces or places that are visually familiar but not physically. the spaces we occupy and then the ones we look at, how do we occupy them, is that the difference between space and place?”

“there is something about what you said that resonates with me: a space valuable as a sight but not as a place to enter. although i am drawn to enter it, i always enjoyed just looking at it. i walked around the fences again today. signs say that the place is under video surveillance, although i didn’t see any cameras and i doubt it’s true. i found a new spot to observe it and saw it from a different angle. about a half of it is a lake. i wish i could tell you the colour of water, but i somehow overlooked it. birds and ducks found it and made it their home. then a big part of it is a concrete platform on which stand the remains of construction pillars, made of concrete and iron rods, and when I looked at them i had the fantasy of having a place like that open for walking or sitting around, among huge abandoned concrete sculptures. i wouldn’t want to change anything there, just open it, remove the fences and let people walk through.”

above left

alice wilson & neja tomšič
the space behind my studio, the space behind your flat, series of photos, 2021

above right

alice wilson & neja tomšič
conversation piece, 2021