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PUNCHY

The image turns the slightly tilted fist into a landscape. Visible on the surface of the skin, the veins become ridges, rivers that run down a mountain chain and join each other to form powerful frozen streams, as if they wanted to tempt the beholder into misusing the expression “still life”. The fist I see is an image of bodily strength, a sculpted hand closed upon itself in a protective, defensive, assertive display of power, perhaps even pure anger, anger purified from second thoughts and immune to the hesitation they might induce. Because of its blindness, because it has no eyes and cannot blush, because it transforms touch into external contact, a fist appears unassailable and exposed, unassailable like a fortress and exposed like a rock in the weather. Its tenderness resides in such simultaneity. Have you ever been caressed by a fist? A fist must be quick, hit you before you see it coming, as if it were an image. Otherwise the hardening of the hand might be considered a manner of dreaming, of relinquishing the hand to the composure of a mere pose. Here is a chiseled marble block cut off from the living body that curtails the weapon’s action radius while providing the tightly rolled up fingers with a vigour drawn from its own trembling weight. You should not be able to anticipate the movement of a fist, measure the effects of its impact, though the amount that can be held in one hand is called a fistful. A fist points west. No one can touch a fist without being knocked down. It is too impatient to wait for other fists to support its strike. The fist fest has always already begun, even though there may be only one lonely fist around. In this image, the left hand, barely visible, seems to have grabbed the right arm’s wrist, so much more vulnerable and clumsy than the five snakes that constitute its bulky extremity, guiding the fist, making it stronger, or keeping it from venturing into the whiteness all by itself, traversing the space at the speed of light, and demolishing the painted wall. But you cannot create an image with a fist. The camera will fall down when you try to grasp it. If you wish to create an image with a fist, you need help. You must ask someone to shove his fist up your arse and click on the camera’s small and sensitive button as you begin to scream and your face stiffens into yet another fist. Oh, it hurts so and gives you such pleasure. You will have to be a truly skilled artist to create the image you are after, a comic-strip-illustration of the justice done by an avenging God or a flying superhero. Where is the fist that will destroy the depoliticised selfsatisfaction and smugness of contemporary Germany, or the moral, intellectual, and physical devastation actively pursued by the neo-liberal agenda of Cameron’s government in the so-called United Kingdom, or the sneaky fascism that the Populares have brought onto Spain after hijacking the legislative and executive powers? A black fist lingers.

Alexander García Düttmann