No more the torrent,
No more for us the meeting place
(Lo the fair dead!)

Ezra Pound, Threnos

At the moment I’m changing the arrangement of my drawings, watercolors, masks, photographs and ceramics. For years they have hung against the shelves of the bookcases in the study. I am mentally retired, the books do not interest me that much anymore. Now that I’ve finally acquired a precious drawing by a Master, this work merits a good hanging and must replace another work.

Being at it, I decided to reframe another print. When still young, I framed a few things in a manner then fashionable amongst the poorer art-lovers. Behind a glass plate, everything held together by a set of aluminum hooks and some thread.


Because all artworks hanging next to it have already a frame, it seemed time to put my Spieker, a fine print, in a new jacket, thus bringing it in line with works already inside real frames.

Ewald Spieker, Black and White
Ewald Spieker, Black and White

To get one, I visited the thrift store, a smart and cheap solution. They often have aesthetic debris hanging there, now and then trapped in a nice frame. You buy one, throw away that image and re-use the list for your own purpose.

When I dismantled this new second-hand frame, behind the board there appeared some colorful thing, and behind that a real photograph. Unthinkingly I tore it up immediately.


Moments later I realized that this perhaps was something heartrending – the image of what was once a beloved and then became a stranger who was stashed away. The former lover did probably not dare to tear her up, as I did.

Thus, this new frame around my Spieker-print has become the service-hatch for an anonymous past. I will never know whom I threw into the trashcan, nor the first sinner who referred her to some unseen backdrop.

Sierksma Haarlem 15:11:15


Author: rjsiersk

Sierksma was born in Friesland, a 'county' in the northern part of the Netherlands with its own language which he does not speak and with an obstinate population to which he both belongs and does not belong. A retired Professor of Social Philosophy and Aesthetics, as a Harkness fellow he taught at Rutgers and Berkeley Universities in the USA, and at GUAmsterdam and TUDelft in the Netherlands. In 1991 he was awarded his PhD from Leiden University on the subject of 'Surveillance and Task: Labour Discipline between Utilitarianism and Pragmatism'. His books include Minima Memoria (1993), Lost View (2002 with Jan van Geest), and Litter Scent (2013). He has published poems and articles in Te Elfder Ure, Nynade, Oasis and the Architectural Annual. Half the year he lives in Haarlem, the other half he spends in la France Profonde, living ‘in his own words’ as the house out there was bought with the winnings from his essay Eternal Sin, written for the ECI Essay Prize (1993). In this blog, Sierksma's Sequences, written in English, he is peeping round his own and other people’s perspectives. Not easily satisfied with answers nor with questions, he turns his wry wit to a number of philosophical and historical issues. His aim in writing: to make parts of the world light up in his perspective - not my will, thine! Not being a thief, he has no cook, one wife, some children, one lover and three cats.

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