Joanna RajkowskaPolandVisual Arts1998

This is a story of a man who was afraid to lie down on the bed.

His name was Gordon Baltimore. This was one of those men who always try to behave independently.

The day was a little bit cloudy, but hot and humid. Gordon, Jess, Penny, Benjamin, Tobias and Joanna decided to go down to the small town of Umbertide.

A building that they entered was being restored. It was a church - Chiesa di Santa Croce. Deprived of all the paintings and figures, filled up with scaffolding and trash, it seemed to be entirely soulless. God wasn’t there, for sure.

Tobias set up the tripod, measured light and started to take pictures while turning the camera around. Joanna set up the bed in the middle of it, covered it with four white bedsheets and two white pillows. Gordon stood right next to it and put one of his hands on the pillow. He was all white too: white shirt and pants, white jacket and white hair. When Tobias looked into the viewfinder of his old Rolleiflex, he saw a white shape of a bed, Gordon’s body and the quite dark figure of Benjamin, whom Joanna placed high in the main altar. “Benjamin is growing out of Gordon’s head” thought Tobias. “Benjamin is Jesus Christ, but he is growing out of Gordon’s head after all,” thought Joanna. He was very young, only 16 years old, but as Penny once put it – he wasn’t afraid to express his opinions clearly.

They didn’t even talk too much, everyone knew their jobs. Penny rested in one of the side altars in a long, tight red dress and red lipstick. Later on Jess said that she looked like Coco Chanel and she did. She was smiling and this half-conscious smile made her a bit perverse. Penny was a woman who had decided to go her certain way, to love this and not another man and perhaps this is why she was so unbelievably calm. Look – Joanna turned to Tobias – The face of this little figure of Virgin Mary in the niche behind Penny is crushed.

– Yeah, really.