Solitude Exercises

Ana Filipovic, Elena Morena Weber, Aykan Safoğlu, Savyon, and Antoni Rayzhekov accepted Regina Dürig’s invitation to explore the exercise as a literary form. Solitude Exercises take the reader to Solitude castle, to what being a fellow might feel like, but also to reimagine remoteness, silence, making, and longing.


Walk past a mirror and remind yourself of an old friend.


Listen like a tree. Listen to: a) blindness b) excess c) gravity.


Wait for a bus under a tree of considerable age. See if your waiting is more patient here than at an actual bus stop.


Log on to Gayromeo or Scruff or Grinder and try to find a random visitor who came for a rococo experience at the castle. If you have luck finding someone, invite this person into the academy, and write lyrics for a possible Eurovision entry together.


Imagine a thread tying you to all the people you love dearly. Think of the thread’s color as often as you can.


Every evening collect all the energy, ideas,and assumptions you haven’t used during the day in appropriate containers. Collect them until the containers are full; thengive them away lightheartedly.


While traveling on the highway, close your eyes each time you cross an electrical pole and give it a secret name.


Imagine your body has leaves. Whisper all the colors you want them to turn into to a friend falling asleep.


Take a photograph of your window view each day at the same time for as many days as you are years of age.


Sketch a sensation you are longing for on a small piece of paper. Slip it unnoticed into a stranger’s bag or hood.


Walk from the »dog house« to the temple and count to ten. Then breathe out and smile at the first person you see, without him or her noticing.


Consider that you are a being living in outer space as often as you can.


Note evidence why you are not somebody else’s imagination. Note suggestions for improvement just in case you are somebody else’s imagination after all.


In case of the insomnia, count the sheep resting underneath the window.


Let a stranger write a word they haven’t used in a long time on the back of your hand. See if it bleeds through.


Synchronize your breath with the free-line telephone signal. Hang up before someone picks up the phone. Keep the rhythm as long as you can.


Write the text of your favorite song in the sand, on the beach. As the sea overflows, dedicate it to a loved one.


Every morning for 50 days, draw a portrait of yourself as a cloud.


Find a stone that has never been lifted. Whisper her an haiku poem in a language you don’t know.


With a soft permanent marker circle a close friend’s bruises and scars, also the tiny ones. When the ink is washed away, circle the same spots on your own body. Document the fading for your friend.


Find the old lady at the bus stop for 92, try to converse with her – no matter how difficult it is, hold on to it, gently resist her dementia. Imagine healing some of her past wounds. You may heal some of yours along the way.


Cook a nice meal for yourself. Use only one pot, one plate, one bowl.


Stand very straight. Then tilt your body until you almost tip over. Could you tilt even more if somebody was ready to catch you? Try to be that somebody a) for yourself b) for others c) for quite some time.


Make a time capsule with melodies and writings that thrill you right now.


Close the blinds and draw the curtains. Imagine the light twelve hours and twelve days from now in all the places you were exceptionally happy in.


Say »See you tomorrow.«Then pack your suitcase.


Draw the sound of a group of people laughing together jauntily. Hide the paper in a place where you’ll only find it after having forgotten about it.


Measure the space you currently inhabit with the number of circles you can circumscribe with your body.


Invent a name for a culturally unregarded emotion (e.g. the brittle excitement before guests arrive, the velvety discomposure while unlocking one’s own apartment door). Use it.


Think of countless ways to share a secret with a person on another continent. Don’t let likelihood dishearten you.


Collect all the materials in your apartment or studio that would make a great cocoon. Rearrange them regularly. Document the process.


In summer, climb to the cupola of the castle, and drop your smartphone while trying to capture a panoramic shot of the view. When contacting your insurance company to replace your phone, immerse yourself in a conversation with the hotline person about the failure of Rococo and the notion of sweet boredom in the movies of Sofia Coppola.


Light a firework in your brain and let it explode in your body. Dedicate this dance to your youngest nephew or godchild.


Hide in a place that holds you comfortably (in the closet, under the desk). Stay there, motionless, until your absence finds you.


Choose the native animal you like the most. Provide a thoughtful house for it in the room you spend the least time in. Leave a window ajar in twilight.


Skip all the way to the nearest seashore. When you arrive there, hug the wind and let it carry you back.