I went to the Hague recently to begin a collaboration with the artist Danielle Lopes Cardozo in response to her recent exhibition.
The Ladder Project is an installation composed of thirty one ladders hanging from the ceiling of Gallery Sophie. I produced a written response composed of 31 paragraphs, one for each ladder. A few are below.
1) The first thing I did when I got to Den Haag was walk to my old house. I lived there until I was eight years old. I’ve not been back but I remember the address, because I was always so afraid of getting lost. Before I knew much other Dutch I knew how to say ‘My name is Rosie, I don’t speak very good Dutch, I live at 17A Smidswaater.’
2) Two bridges at either end of the street, the dark-watered canal that along the length of the doorsteps. The door is still dark green, same colour as the water. I looked through the glass, there was the long brick hall, the metal gate at the end. Beyond it, the unreachable landscape of my memory. I took a photo for Instagram and left.
14) Think of the ladders as guardian angels, as acts of love. Think of the ladders as a succession of gifts. Think of the ladders as your wife, as your husband, as your child. Think of the ladders as a sentence which, for better or for worse, you can’t redact.
20) Emotional stress and events of personal significance push us strongly toward magical meaning-making, says Matthew Hutson in Psychology Today. We look for patterns because we hate surprises and because we love being in control. Elsewhere, Magical Thinking is described as an Insidious Thought Error. But Matthew Huston says Anything Can Be Sacred.
21) Danielle met my mother at a local nursery, we had just moved to Den Haag from London, and I was two. I saw her getting you into a jacket, said Danielle. I knew from how she was putting you into the jacket that we would be friends.