These collaged meditations on “teenage visual dynamics” are by Norwegian artist Are Mokkelbost. In the last few you can also see the back side of the pages he glues together.
I’m thirteen and have just learned, through a news broadcast at a party, about the Jim Jones massacre. A friend of our family—a woman who was close with my mom, and who was one of my first teachers—joined The People’s Temple some years ago. The television shows fields of dead bodies, and the anchor says something about how they cannot confirm yet if there is any link between these deaths and the recent assassinations of San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and District Supervisor Harvey Milk.
My friend Tim pulls me away from the television. We float through a fluorescent haze, round a corner hung with worried families, up purple stairs. We sneak into a closed room, and then into the walk-in closet.
There are a million ties on one wall, striped and flashing colors. Tim’s cool fingers touch my arm. One of the neckties is embroidered with a pair of duck hunters waiting behind a thicket. They gaze into sky-rivers of blood and memory. The hunters turn toward an old oak that was uprooted when a plane went down here and sunk into the marsh. A squirrel leaps from one branch to another of the felled blanched giant.
One of the hunters jokingly points his gun at the rodent, then lays the weapon down in the tall weeds. The other puts his palm flat and reassuring on his buddy’s back. They stare off into the ancient forest, its familiar mystery lulling them into a sense of brother mourning the loss of brother. The earthy smells around them lace them up like two feet in a pair of winter boots.