Some Waves Wave Forever

The waves in Kinga Bartis’s painting Egg timer do not move in vain.

Kinga Bartis, Egg timer, 2021.

Some waves have a beginning and an end. Some waves wave on forever.
In Kinga’s paintings, you sometimes find waves. It looks like the waves are moving from left to right – at least, in the painting I’m looking at now. I am writing this text by the lakes in Nørrebro in Copenhagen. I am writing it on the final blank pages of the book Ophør oprør by Jakob Jakobsen. In these lakes, the waves kind of move in vain. After all, I feel like they should have some kind of function. I think waves should carry something with them from one place to another. Not just wave back and forth. In this painting, it seems as if the waves are what carry the narrative. As if the waves begin to the left of the image, somewhere you can’t see, and then wave to the right? I don’t think they necessarily wave to the right when the painting ends. I think they wave in different directions, but I definitely don’t think they go back to where they started. I don’t know. But when I look at the waves in the lakes, I don’t think they’re going anywhere.

I wonder where in the world the plaster bust of Frederik V is now. It has probably been carried aloft by waves back and forth, here and there, and up on land, and maybe one day it will be a tiny piece of the ruins of a sandcastle on a beach somewhere. Perhaps the child who built the ruin will have had first-hand experience of racism.

The painting is called Egg timer.
When boiling eggs in water, you must always make sure they cool down. If not, the cooking process will continue.
When casting busts, you start with making a mould around a bust. A mould is similar to an egg. I made a plaster mould around a frozen chicken once. It is almost as if the thing you are casting is hatching into the egg instead of out of the egg.
The eggs in Egg timer will probably remain eggs forever.

I was on a date on Valentine’s Day this year. She gave me a book and a drawing of something that looked like water: a wave waving around and around and around. The book was a book of love notes written by Alice B. Toklas and Gertrude Stein, to each other; its title was Baby Precious Always Shines. Bobnis, my rabbit, found that book and ate parts of it. He also ate parts of another book by Gertrude Stein.

Bobnis tends to leave small round brown egg-like poop in various places to show me what he considers his space in our space. That’s perfectly fair, I think. This is also to say that Gertrude Stein’s books eventually came out of him that way. There are different ways of taking in art and different ways of responding to it and different ways of speaking about what you have seen.

– Melanie Kitti is a visual artist, poet and activist. In 2016 she founded the gallery Destiny’s in Oslo, which she still runs together with three other artists. She studied at the Academy of Fine Art in Oslo and The Royal Danish Academy Of Fine Arts in Copenhagen. She will finish her studies at Forfatterskolen in Copenhagen in June of 2021.