Verner Herzog

The universe is recorded on a VHS tape playing in the basement of a pristine yet empty apartment block in a Chinese ghost town the size of Birmingham. The town is serviced by one man. Instead of smoking all day under a tree in the middle of the widest boulevard, he is crippled by the size of his task. When he moved to the town, the serviceman brought a rainbow finch with him. One morning, the cage was empty. Sometimes he can hear the echo of the finch’s whistling in the narrow alleyways between apartment blocks. The only shop in operation in the town is a liquor store run by a Russian woman in a leather jacket and with hair the colour of polar ice. The door chimes with an electronic cymbal clash when the serviceman enters and exits or when the woman steps out to get some fresh air. She thinks the easiest thing to do would be to burn the whole thing down but who could she tell? Who would listen? Also in the basement is a fragment of a meteorite and a Citroën 2CV that nobody has the key for. In one of the bedrooms in one of the apartments is a commission by Felix Gonzalez-Torres. Packs of stray dogs enter the town at dusk and speakers in all the public squares play The Rite of Spring on repeat. Werner Herzog is visiting soon but nobody knows when and the billboard advertising his visit spells his name “Verner”.

verner

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