between the Nakvak and the Korok: an expedition to the Torngat mountains. Hiking through the Valley of the cirques, climbing Mont d'Iberville, fishing in the Nakvak Valley, Canada, Torngat Mountains, northern Québec, trek, Nakvak, Korok, icefield, caribou trail, summit, travelogue, trip, travel, hike


Nuremberg in November

Part 7: Unanswered Questions

I walk out of the greyness, into the next room, to find it filled with voices. The school class I had been warned of. Yet it isn't that bad. They from a circle, around a clay church formed on a net of metal strings. A guide is leading them into the inner of the church, underneath the surface of the image. Before I know it, I am part of the group, I am a pupil, listening to a teacher, I am waiting to be told.

The façade of the church holds priests and angels, saints and crosses, we are shown, I am shown. Yet there is more, elements that don't belong, bats, pistols, rats next to the virgin Mary left devasted, to the tortured Jesus nailed to the cross. The white of the church, it is spilled by red paint, by red blood.

Later, after the guide has moved on, after the group has gone, I hear Niki's words, her story, her reality:

A Sunday. A church. A holy communion. I am eleven years old. I step towards the altar with words of love and hate in my heart. Why do You let people hunger and suffer? - I hate You. - I love You. - I trust You.- there are mysteries I do not understand. Why do You allow hunger and war? Is the devil stronger than You? Please forgive me. I am sorry and ask for forgiveness. I throw myself at Your feet.

The asker of questions, Niki was, since she was a child. They made her move, those questions, forced her to leave a Catholic school, then another. They are present in her work, elements of combined paintings, titles of tableaus, marking the key moments of her life:

My love why did you go away?
What do you like the most about me?
Who is the monster - you or me?

And this one, spoken as a child: Why isn't the Nana allowed to sit at our desk? The Nana, the woman with soft curves, her nursemaid from Africa. She let her come alive again in her sculptures. There she is, taking her place, glowing in color. There she is, unscarred, unbroken, unconcealed, leading further.


The one who looks so unconcerned, so at ease, so harmless - she is an affront in these times, turning viewpoints upside down. Just like Niki herself, who crosses thresholds by writing down lines you aren't supposed to put in ink beyond the reign of diaries or fictional stories. Yet there they are, in yellow and pink and orange colors, lines formed by ornamental words, pop art posters on first glance, personal pages on the second. A lists of lovers, forming a tableau, no names there, no faces, just numbers, comments, curled sublines, rose ranked reflections, their thorns unbroken.

"These men loved me, excited me, inspired me.
But I never entirely revealed myself to them.
I remained disguised."

Like her work that carries so many symbols, colors, motives. That is formed by layers of meaning, of hints, of signs, carrying connections to ancient history, to native mythology. Like schemes of dreams some of the figures look, sent from the stars, messengers from parallel worlds, from times subsided.

Part 8: The Winged One

this travelogue is part of the subside travelzine
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