atiena r. kilfa

The Cycle of Three Tails

july 22nd september 15th 2019

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Awaken: is it night or not night?

Search for a Sensing isn’t easy here; darkness refuses to submit to eyes’ probing for forms; somewhere against the underneath of the thigh a dull prodding feeling; hands move down and grasp around handle metal—a tool? smooth sheen abruptly becomes rough texture, as if someone’s left only half of this accoutrement exposed for centuries, allowing the air’s time to make its rust but haven’t I All this is feeling too familiar, some preordained voyage whose repetitions only deepen the groove. Somehow life cycles, insists on a cycle, insists on its cycling.

All you know I know: sunset-marked irradiated pink skies tumbling into reddish clouds moving down into purple refracting in the mute blues of glass behemoths; the head’s light dizziness when emerging back into the morning air after a night of gyratory dancing; rough pat-downs of security guards while a raspy radio broadcasts the newest daily warnings; lingering desires for implacable wants.

Last night, dreams of the lives of artists, which are just the same as all others. Some ambitious, some haphazard, some lazy, some tired, some joyful, some deliberate, some rich in the knowledge of senses and some drunk on the solemnity of the hermit. Life is never just life, it is always something else; it has an underlying style, it is thrown.

Can you let yourself go truly wild, let go of the impulse for sense-making? Is it time to follow the oracle’s advice and cross to the far shore? Do you have a name? What is my A name: it’s been said that humans name each other so as to communicate themselves to God, whoever that is. Memories of an older system maybe. Or of the one that’s yet to come. Meanwhile you stumble in the darkness and still wonder: is it night or not night?

Andrew Wagner, Frankfurt, July 14th, 2019


Atiena R. Kilfa presents a new body of work emerging from her study and experiments with forms of life and psychological stages. The work could be connected to ideas of tibetan ‘conditioned life’ which the artist drew from a drawing in the collection of Cardinal Cesare Borgia on display at the Capodimonte Museum in Naples as an attempt to recast the role of creative work in the production of contemporary subjectivity while available models are rapidly collapsing.