Poetry of raw: Czech born artist and writer David Lindert in conversation with Antoine Schafroth.
How are you today? Can you respond with one of your photographs and a description of it?
I am ok. There’s not so much enthusiasm going on in my life these days. Just read that another wave is coming. I’m just conquering dull everydayness and feeding off my obsessions. Maybe I can better respond with the poem I wrote last night before going to bed called Wet Socks.
“Fruit flies over my clogged sink, ants crawl around the chicken wing, I’ve almost forgotten that it is spring, almost forgotten that it is March, forgotten my penile discharge, forgotten to water plants, stiff cum stains harden my pants, went out just to check mail box, walking in the same wet socks, flattening stalks in your circles, turning on that dry cycles, 22 months and more than 2 weeks, 32 filters + 23 leaves.”
You are using the alias “Radiant Baby” on Instagram. Is it just a reference to Keith Haring, or is it more? How are social media and dating apps present in your life and your practice as a queer artist?
Although Radiant Baby derives its origin from Christianity, it has been used in many of Haring’s other works associated with racism, drug addiction, AIDS awareness and tolerance. Yet, sometimes I still feel like an innocent young boy crawling on his four, crying for attention who wants to be carried in my family’s arms or crawling on the darkroom floor high as fuck hungry for a dick or more. I only changed from the_radiant_baby back to my real name a few months ago. I personally get more pleasure from losing than gaining followers. I take Instagram as an experimental platform that helps me to observe the reaction of human masses. One understandable private message warms me up more than a hundred new followers.
I noticed that addiction is a recurrent theme in your work. How is it related? In parallel, do you perceive creativity as an addictive process?
I have been fighting with addiction in the past six or seven years, and I personally can’t stand anything more than judgmental people or addicts in disguise, who would only do drugs with me without contributing and pointing out my serious problem or who would divide drugs to the better and the worse ones.
All drugs are the same bad, in my opinion. If you are an alcoholic or smoke weed or tobacco, why do you think you are better than a G addict? We should be helpful to each other, and the first steps are acceptance and tolerance, and on the opposite end stands judgement. We all die anyway. Let’s not make this world a worse place than it is. I might get quite far from your answer. I am better creative sober. But I cannot separate sobriety and high life. They are both my children.
Your work is often described as autobiographical, but I perceived a critical point of view about our society expressed through banality and irony, am I right? From this, how do you identify a good picture or text?
Social equality and its underwhelming understanding are one of my sorts of practice, but often those who fight for it become a broke businessman’s tax-free living room pride. I would rather die alone squatting with my schizophrenic mind than be fresh meat for the money vultures. Maybe years will help me understand more the society we live in. Social media are meant to be the total opposite of what kalokagathia stands for. If gaining muscles speak of human values, I’d rather be an alien forever cruising above the clouds. There are so many different aspects of how to observe photography. For me, it’s an emotional expression and nothing more. With my text, I am more direct. I explore the impact of commodified individuality as well as fractured identity.
If you had to send one artwork to the Aliens, what would you send and why?
Maybe the photograph I took of my boyfriend the second week we met and called it Watering in the other room (2019). It symbolizes love to grow and exist.
What are you working on at the moment?
I got funding for my first not-self published book consisting of two parts: poetry and photography. The book will be about a hundred pages about healing and destruction.