Page 1









Rüste Dich für den Krieg! Schütze Dich vor allen Atomwaffen! Sorge vor für den Ernstfall! Grenze Dich ab von allen Feinden! Du - kannst Deinen Frieden sicherlich nicht mehr verlieren! Du – schreitest befreit und gesichert in die Zukunft! Du – hast nichts mehr zu verlieren

Herr R stutters. He speaks slowly, it seems that his focus is drifting away, at times it seems as though he forgot what he was about to say, but then he always surprises with a logical continuation. The expression on his face resembles an expression of a singer. He looks like in his mind he were always

singing a

joyous, perhaps children’s song. His eyes are always slightly ajar and moist. Herr R goes to work. Every morning he gets up, washes and dresses himself, takes a bus and finally arrives at work. He works in a door-handle and lock manufacture. While he talks about his job he enthusiastically walks to the door and explains in which part of the mechanism he inserts screws, bolts, nuts, and other pieces. After work he returns to the community. At the end of his speech he stresses that his work is important

and responsible.

Herr R is at peace as long as his life is predictable and only comforts him, it is a necessity. He

routine. Routine not

engages in it and finds safety in the

undisturbed rhythm of the everyday. He is often tired, work fills him with stress. It’s better since he’s been receiving new, stronger medicine. The agreement to come to work later

and stay longer has a

good effect on him as well. If he’s late, he earns less. In his free time Herr S watches television and listens to the radio. forward to parties, since he loves to dance.

He looks

He’s been living in the community for

fifteen years. He remembers the beginning

of his illness. As a child, when he read out

loud in the class, a powerful voice suddenly appeared in

his head, overpowering

the surroundings, even the sound of his own voice. The sound gradually evolved into a voice, which developed into a simultaneous personality that occasionally multiplies. Herr R therefore usually answers questions double. The first answer is followed by the second, alternative one, introduced by the obligatory: ”But the voice in my head says also differently...” Herr R is often frightened by his voices, since they

can lead him to perform criminal

acts. Even though he is by no means a danger to his surroundings, he admits that the voices sometimes tell him to rape

a little girl or commit a brutal murder.

While his interlocutor is summing up his words, he gives him a horrified stare but at the same time his voice reveals relief. He has – as always – discovered that

his original

personality still successfully overpowers the imaginary one. For the time being. Herr R is thus effortfully winning battles, but daily losing the war.

Herr T wears a mask almost the entire time. It protects him against infections coming from the air he be-

lieves to be full of life-threatening viruses and bacteria. Herr T prepares his food alone, never with other

colleagues, believing they want to poison him. When going to the supermarket, he buys only sterilely

packed products. He also avoids lactose and other components he finds extremely harmful.

Herr T says he always knew he was different. He was able to control it until the moment he was sen-

tenced to prison and consequently drugs entered his life. Marijuana, crazy mushrooms, sedatives

mixed with alcohol, opium, valium, Lexotan, heroin, cocaine, LSD, GHB, methamphetamine and other sub-

stances intensified paranoia and anxiety and demolished his mood balance. Voices in his head became

increasingly vocal and increasingly aggressive. Time in prison, among other things, was marked with

tattooing. Without any selection he was covering his skin with faces, elfin creatures, butterflies, birds,

spiders, cobras, hearts, stars, ships, and unspecified contours, either the starting forms that have nev-

er found the final image, or simply failed attempts that remained uncoated. Tattooing in prison was

strictly forbidden, so they had to hide from the guards and the volume of devices was reduced to a

minimum. Since they had only one tattooing machine for all prisoners, Hepatitis C was only a matter

of time. Herr T has now been clean for twenty years. With a voice that reveals some doubt he says

that drugs are no longer a temptation for him. They are too often coming back in the so-called flashes.

These flashes are, he says, what he fears most in life.

He is aware that his life will never be normal and he is just a pale shadow of what he wanted to be.

He knows that cards were dealt a long time ago and that he wasted the best - if he ever had them in

the first place. He is still holding a few of those left, hoping that he will one day be able to put them on

the table and play along.

After my question about what "Das Leben ist Kein Ponyhof" meant to him, he stayed quiet for a few min-

utes. There was silence in the room, interrupted only by sighs and smirks that seemed similar to those

of a five-year-old child who has just stolen the biggest piece of the cake from the table.

Then he responded. He said life kicked his ass. He never got anything, while others got it all. That he has

always been cheated, and was always the one who received the worst. That he was never told what

was right or wrong. That he never socialized. That he is a savage and that life is a jungle.

Herr T is hardly struggling through this jungle. He is slowly moving around with a broken machete, all the

time fighting with new dangers waiting behind every branch, without knowing that all the paranoia is just

a result of his distorted imagination.

When I was a child, they told me that fear is hollow on the inside and there is nothing on the outside.

I guess Herr T was never told that.

»Ich bin eine Ossi.«

Das Leben ist kein Ponyhof  

Student project at Folkwang Universitat der Kunste, Essen, Germany

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you