Dear readers, who accompany INTO THE CRACKS!

Since this text is a very personal one, you will find it as well in the German original as in English translation.

Ever since I decided to walk from Vienna to Istanbul, I’ve had a strong desire to write letters from my travels. I’m not sure why those two concepts are so inextricably linked for me, but it might be because of the temporal structure inherent to walking: Walking gives time space to unfold. Each of my major walking tours so far flushed back to my mind some buried memories I had believed long lost. Walking unearthed the past.  

Letter-writing also gives time space to unfold, but it adds an addressee to the equation. The pause it requires, the silence it feeds on, the reflection of, relationship to, and remembrance of whoever it addresses – for me, all these things place the act of letter-writing in an intrinsically human realm. 

A handful of people have accompanied me for a big part of my journey, and I’ve been wanting to write to them for quite some time. It is to these people that I am now going to address my letters. In my view, they all have to do with INTO THE CRACKS. And although I don’t even know most of them – in the sense that I’ve never met them –, they have influenced, shaped, and in some cases even changed my life. They are my walking companions. Some have been for years. Just like physically “real” relationships, they keep me alive, they enthuse and inspire me – yes, they are actually like spirits, friendly spirits. Some of them are alive, some are not.

By giving space to time, walking unfolds a variety of time layers. When we walk, to an extent, we always walk with, towards, and against death. The latter is in the spirit of Werner Herzog, who in 1974 embarked on a foot march from Munich to Paris upon learning that the famous film critic Lotte Eisner, whom he greatly admired, was dying. It was his firm belief that as long as he was walking, she would stay alive. Werner Herzog succeeded: He got to talk to Lotte Eisner in Paris. He had walked against death.

To walk is to experience a territory, a region. But to walk is also to encounter an inner territory somewhere beyond (geographical) space and (measurable) time. It’s a realm for those who dream, a realm where the living and the dead can get together.

My letters explore this place. They are soliloquies but also, by nature, attempts at dialogue. Dialogue that extends far beyond the circle of addressees. But most of all, they are invitations to write a letter yourselves. You can write it to me or to somebody else. Whomever you choose – they will be your walking companion.


                                                                                                                      Carina Riedl

Letters written until today:

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    Stephan Werner
    Schwarzspanierstraße 12/3,
    1090 Wien, Austria

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    Für den Inhalt verantwortlich: 
    camp Nu – Verein zur Förderung von Theater-, Kunst- und Performanceprojekten

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