time and place:
1994 to 1997, School for Conceptual Tendencies


It happened in the studio
twenty years ago and more
we were sitting around the big table
five or six students and professor
the others were somewhere near, cleaning the room
making space for forthcoming exams

You know these improvised big tables in art schools
large wooden panels on sturdy sawhorses
covered with packing paper
different shades of coffee stains, traces of fat and wine
illegible pencil marks, filled ashtrays
ashes scattered all over the table
mixing with old dried breadcrumbs
several books, some notebooks, soft cheese leftovers
banana peels, box of matches and one twisted spoon
in one word: consultations

Which reminds me
one year my good friend Martin
collected used tea bags from that table
dried and straighten them carefully
and then he mounted them on the wall
thus creating a strange matrix
that somehow encoded
all our conversations throughout the year

It was the time before the final exams
the atmosphere was that of slight panic and frantic preparations
making last adjustments to our presentations and cleaning the studio

Hana was already finished with her work
she engaged (with the small crew of fellow students)
in removing undesired traces of foregone activities
she was very agile and kind

Eventually she approached the big table
consultations were still in the full swing
we were in the middle of some very serious debate
she carefully interrupted the conversation
to ask if it was all right to throw away
that bottle

There was this empty plastic bottle
leftover of some bubbly sugary drink
a kind of soda they make only for Eastern Europe
faded yellow color of thin plastic
some remnants of highly suspicious liquid
there was no doubt:
an evident piece of garbage

So we answer, with a slight sense of guilt and a bit of confusion
well, yes..

And professor, with a dead serious face:
Jenom, aby to nebyla něčí diplomka!