Federn - German Edition
“A documentary film that was supposed to be made for the cinema is mentioned in my notes, as is a biography that a journalist was planning to write,” writes Manon. “I ended up calling off both, along with plenty of other stuff.”
But the Swiss artist’s “notes” for the planned documentary in 2005, diary-like entries “about the passage of time, and about the passage of my times,” as she puts it, remained, and are published here for the first time. In light of the multitude of details they provide, it seems a bit of an understatement to call them “notes”. Federn (“Feathers”) actually takes the shape of a diary, and turns out to be a multi-layered narrative providing a succinct and yet feather-light look back on Manon's life, art, men and day-to-day concerns.
In a mix of timidly restrained, resolute and at times drily humorous prose, the artist cautiously but confidently attempts to put into words the balancing act between her everyday life and her artistic career of highly stylized self-portrayals. Federn interweaves memories and the present with comments on apparently minor matters. In contrast to her elaborate mises-en-scène, what interests the author of these notes is not pageantry and sensationalism, but minute mood swings, poetic observations of her urban and natural surroundings, the trials and tribulations of the heart, and reflections on aging and transience.