National Sculpture Factory


15th—23rd May 2023

Oisín Byrne


I'm in the bath with a broken foot, the doctor has given me some very nice dihydrocodeine. I slip two pills to slip the pain, and begin to read Clarice Lispector in the small tub. How can I describe the heightened pleasure as the ache of my foot subsides? Lispector’s words, the hot water, and the opiates all drive me towards a dissociative, nameless state.

I look her straight in the eye and see her pupils dilate and then contract. I see her watch my watching. Her eyes are like fruits, brown with crystalline fractures — both judgement and absolution within them. Her skin is transparent, a thinner and more porous veil between her and the ‘outside’. Like the translucent covering on a vietnamese summer roll, I am certain I can see through to her internal organs.

Somehow I am understanding Portuguese, in her husky voice: “It's hard to lose oneself... up to now, finding myself was having a ready-made person idea and mounting myself inside it. I incarcerated myself inside that set up person and didn't even sense the great construction process that living was”.

With a crash, it begins to rain heavily outside, on the remains of our dinner table. She looks out the window at the thrashing rain and then to me with a grin, “Do you like that? I did it for dramatic effect?”.

I go to salvage the leftover plates and bowls — she gently grabs my shoulder: “Let the storm wash the plates”.