Kenneth Berth - I’d wanted to tell him this
Eighteen young authors have brought nineteenth-century artefacts from the Rijksmuseum to life. They have taken inspiration from the question: what do you see when you look at these objects with an eye for invisible labour? Kenneth Berth created an audio story in response to Louis Moritz’s painting The Music Lesson from 1808. ‘I’m alerting you: go on please check your iPhone.’
The Music Lesson, Louis Moritz, 1808 © Rijksmuseum Collection, Amsterdam
I’d wanted to tell him this
‘I’m Japanese noodles and Italian cleaning product. I’m a photo mug. The print on an umbrella. I’m alerting you: go on please check your iPhone.’
I’d wanted to tell him this.
I’m Japanese noodles and Italian cleaning product. I’m a photo mug. The print on an umbrella. I’m telling you: please, right now, check your iPhone.
I wish I wish he knew.
I belong to everyone. I’m popular. I’ve made it. I’ve become what he intended me to be. I’m proud of myself. And I don’t reveal myself that easily, I’m sophisticated; I’m not a prude, I’m just not accessible. Hard to get. An impregnable fortress. I wind everyone around my finger; they try for years, and then they still don’t get it.
He and I could have laughed about it together.
Could it be the pressure? It gets to everyone, the relentless pressure. The same with him. Especially him. I’ve watched him go to pieces. Alcohol, which fuels every artist, the Romantic ideal, except that it wasn’t very romantic. It’s all my fault. I never meant to, but I do it to everyone I meet. With each note, he’d decline a little further. He’d swell and swell and that was the end of it. His body made the autonomous decision to quit. And I went on forever. Forever.
I wish he could hear me.
I’d whisper softly, the sweetest words, you’re terrific and then suddenly, I’d lash out. Hah hah surprise!
But it will never happen. I’m here for everyone, I work hard and I will make my mysterious ways less mysterious. But to him I was no more than an idea. A vision. A physical vibration. An abstraction. And I want to be more than that, nothing else is good enough.