The world is full of signs. Visual artists are sensitive mostly to visual messages: they register these either encoded or crystal clear messages which divert us when wandering, or turn us back on the road and make us take another direction just to get lost again.

From past memories a wall is built. This wall grows into a labyrinth from which you do not get into the future, even if you find the way out, as it is your own past, it is your own self where you arrive. You get lost so that you can get back where you have already been. Your memories send multiple messages.

Once, on a bright and cool morning in the Harghita Mountains somebody wakes up to see that the washing lines of the pine-blue sky have been hung full of sheets and bedclothes. And on this textile screen God’s sun, like a tirelessly glowing projector, has projected patterns of roses and forget-me-nots. Wishes of beautiful dreams and sweet kisses have also been written there in meandering letters so that if you happen to forget the silly old childhood poem, you can immediately remember it. And you can remember not just that but many other sheets and pillows too, as by the time you turned 49 you had spent 17,640 days – just to give a number – in bed, on a sheet and pillow. All right, let’s take away the first 30-something days spent in an incubator or swaddle and remember that you can experience such luxury only if you are lucky enough. I won’t take away any more days although I can’t know how many times the creator of these statuettes spent the night out there while wandering, how many times she met dawn with no sheet or pillow to lie on. There are people who have a lot fewer sheet-and-pillow nights because, for instance, they have neither bed nor mattresses while others may have a lot more of such nights because they have been confined to bed for long years. Stories could be told about them, stories lasting for one thousand and one nights.

These would be stories about pillows soaked in tears, wrinkled in pain, stained in blood, leant to the heater and singed there, stuffy, faded in washing, about sets precisely split at divorce, or about sheets torn up into strips for bandages, used as a rope to get somebody over the wall of the labyrinth of fate, sheets used for wrapping dead bodies, washed until their middle was gone, sheets into which parents covered their feverish children, sheets which were counted, inherited, envied by relatives, and which can make a labyrinth if hung wet on the washing line and present only your shadows as if warning us about the weightless impermanence of your momentary presence.
In many languages sheet has another meaning: a white piece of paper. On a bedsheet you write wrinkles, the sign, the writing is the print of your body. From a sheet of paper you may make a little ship delivering a message, moving up and down between childhood and present, until it sinks, because they all sink beyond the horizon and only the crazy and artists think that once they get to the sea. Yet, you follow them with your sight and let them tell us about the world.

You have heard every story, each of them have been written, launched, sunk, and re-emerged torn and soaked, rewritten just to tell them one thousand and first time all about sailors, women weaving canvas, about canvas fashioned into sheets on which children were generated, about children running among bedsheets on the washing lines, children folding sheets of paper, about Sadako, who wanted to make a thousand cranes but only managed 664, about the woman who made 49 sirens and meanwhile turned 50 years old all of a sudden, and about the little boat made of porcelain and even though it was a little heavy, fragile, what’s more unstable, after long-long wandering it got – at least that’s what we all know here, right? – it got to the sea far, far beyond the horizon.

Krisztina Tóth