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Of course all life is a process of breaking down, but the blows that do the dramatic side of the work - the big sudden blows that come, or seem to come, from outside - the ones you remember and blame things on and, in moments of weakness, tell your friends about, don't show their effect all at once. There is another sort of blow that comes from within - that you don't feel until it's too late to do anything about it, until you realise with finality that in some regard you will never be as good a man again. The first sort of breakage seems to happen quickly - the second kind happens almost without your knowing it but is realised suddenly indeed.1
F. Scott Fitzgerald's autobiographical essay 'The Crack-Up' (1936) describes the subtle process of a nervous breakdown in its different shades of anxiety and pain. What Fitzgerald calls the 'crack' literally and metaphorically refers to fundamental conditions and properties that result for him in strange feelings of displacement, of loss or longing for things, which prove difficult to articulate.
Inspired by Fitzgerald's story, Thea Djordjadze's relief Der Knacks (The Crack-Up, 2007), which the artist considers a key work in her development, is made of plaster and looks like a folded piece of cloth that has been broken and reassembled. It bears signs of the cracks from its process of breakage, and from the subsequent attempts to rearrange it into its original shape. Failure has been inscribed into it. Its fragility is literal, and yet is integrated into a decidedly artistic form, which attains a state of stability as though
F. Scott Fitzgerald, 'The Crack-Up', Esquire, February 1936.↑
See also Nora Schulz, 'The Sprawling Present', Kathleen Rahn (ed.), Thea Djordjadze, Nuremberg: Verlag für Moderne Kunst, 2008, p.82.↑
Catherine Wood, 'Thea Djordjadze: An Archeology of the Interior', in K. Rahn (ed.), Thea Djordjadze, op.cit., p.37.↑
See also 'Prekäre Objekte: Philip Ursprung über Thea Djordjadze in der Kunsthalle Basel', Texte zur Kunst, issue 74, June 2009, p.151.↑
Walter Benjamin, The Arcades Project (trans. Howard Eiland and Kevin McLaughlin), Cambridge, MA and London: Belknap Press, 1999, p.8.↑