The project, which investigates the relationship between man and the universe, with a complete presentation (consisting of three chapters) already scheduled, is now redefined due to the pandemic and presents the second chapter here in a virtual setting. In this second part, Hemelliggaam or The Attempt To Be Here Now, a project/archive by Tommaso Fiscaletti and Nic Grobler, accentuates the reflection on the human attempt to exist through time and matter, bringing these elements back, now in an even more articulated way, again with reference to Afrikaans science fiction novels. The two main books cited in this chapter, Swart Ster oor die Karoo (Black Star over the Karoo) by Jan Rabie (1957), and Loeloeraai (1923) by CJ Langenhoven, present worlds to preserve and aliens to relate to, they resonate in the present and infects our interpretation of reality.
‘At that moment, a sound swells like a mighty wind, releasing a hurricane of sound over which it deafeningly breaks and cracks and falls and people scream, with an intensity like rags that are unbearably torn, relentless... Jos sees the steel wall bulges out to them and screams, "Beware!" as he is thrown to the ground with the others. There is no time to wonder what is happening; it's as if a weight of thousands of tons is pressing on his entire body whilst he feels as if he keeps falling and falling. Until he becomes unconscious... The violence continues for long minutes. Slowly the silence comes again.’
From 'Swart Ster oor die Karoo' (Black Star over the Karoo) by Jan Rabie, 1957. The moment that the Earth stops turning.